BOXES

BOXES: a symbolic abstract domain of boxes. Numeric abstract domains are widely used in program analyses. The simplest numeric domains over-approximate disjunction by an imprecise join, typically yielding path-insensitive analyses. This problem is addressed by domain refinements, such as finite powersets, which provide exact disjunction. However, developing correct and efficient disjunctive refinement is challenging. First, there must be an efficient way to represent and manipulate abstract values. The simple approach of using ”sets of base abstract values” is often not scalable. Second, while a widening must strike the right balance between precision and the rate of convergence, it is notoriously hard to get correct. In this paper, we present an implementation of the Boxes abstract domain - a refinement of the well-known Box (or Intervals) domain with finite disjunctions. An element of Boxes is a finite union of boxes, i.e., expressible as a propositional formula over upper- and lower-bounds constraints. Our implementation is symbolic, and weds the strengths of Binary Decision Diagrams (BDDs) and Box. The complexity of the operations (meet, join, transfer functions, and widening) is polynomial in the size of the operands. Empirical evaluation indicates that the performance of Boxes is superior to other existing refinements of Box with comparable expressiveness.