Monadic abstract interpreters
Proceedings of the 34th ACM SIGPLAN conference on Programming language design and implementation - PLDI '13
Recent developments in the systematic construction of abstract interpreters hinted at the possibility of a broad unification of concepts in static analysis. We deliver that unification by showing context-sensitivity, polyvariance, flow-sensitivity, reachabilitypruning, heap-cloning and cardinality-bounding to be independent of any particular semantics. Monads become the unifying agent between these concepts and between semantics. For instance, by plugging the same "context-insensitivity monad"
... nto a monadicallyparameterized semantics for Java or for the lambda calculus, it yields the expected context-insensitive analysis. To achieve this unification, we develop a systematic method for transforming a concrete semantics into a monadically-parameterized abstract machine. Changing the monad changes the behavior of the machine. By changing the monad, we recover a spectrum of machines-from the original concrete semantics to a monovariant, flow-and context-insensitive static analysis with a singly-threaded heap and weak updates. The monadic parameterization also suggests an abstraction over the ubiquitous monotone fixed-point computation found in static analysis. This abstraction makes it straightforward to instrument an analysis with high-level strategies for improving precision and performance, such as abstract garbage collection and widening. While the paper itself runs the development for continuationpassing style, our generic implementation replays it for direct-style lambda-calculus and Featherweight Java to support generality.