Computing time as a program variable: a way around infeasible paths

Author Niklas Holsti

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Niklas Holsti

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Niklas Holsti. Computing time as a program variable: a way around infeasible paths. In 8th International Workshop on Worst-Case Execution Time Analysis (WCET'08). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 8, pp. 1-11, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2008)


Conditional branches connect the values of program variables with the execution paths and thus with the execution times, including the worst-case execution time (WCET). Flow analysis aims to discover this connection and represent it as loop bounds and other path constraints. Usually, a specific analysis of the dependencies between branch conditions and assign­ments to variables creates some representation of the feasible paths, for example as IPET execution-count constraints, from which a WCET bound is calculated. This paper explores another approach that uses a more direct connection between variable values and execution time. The execution time is modeled as a program variable. An analysis of the dependencies between variables, including the execution-time variable, gives a WCET bound that excludes many infeasible paths. Examples show that the approach often works, in principle. It remains to be seen if it is scalable to real programs.
  • WCET
  • flow analysis
  • infeasible paths
  • dependency analysis


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