Catching Bugs in the Web of Program Invariants

Cormac Flanagan, Matthew Flatt, Shriram Krishnamurthi, Stephanie Weirich, Matthias Felleisen

ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, 1996

Abstract

MrSpidey is a user-friendly, interactive static debugger for Scheme. A static debugger supplements the standard debugger by analyzing the program and pinpointing those program operations that may cause run-time errrors such as dereferencing the null pointer or applying non-functions. The program analysis of MrSpidey computes value set descriptions for each term in the program and constructs a value flow graph connecting the set descriptions. Using the set descriptions, MrSpidey can identify and highlight potentially erroneous program operations, whose cause the programmer can then explore by selectively exposing portions of the value flow graph.

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