A Path-Sensitively Sliced Control Flow Graph

Joxan Jaffar and Vijayaraghavan Murali


We present a new graph representation of programs with specified target variables. These programs are intended to be processed by third-party applications querying target variables such as testers and verifiers. The representation embodies two concepts. First, it is path-sensitive in the sense that multiple nodes representing one program point may exist so that infeasible paths can be excluded. Second, and more importantly, it is sliced with respect to the target variables. This key step is founded on a novel idea introduced in this paper, called Tree Slicing, and on the fact that slicing is more effective when there is path sensitivity. Compared to the traditional Control Flow Graph (CFG), the new graph may be bigger (due to path-sensitivity) or smaller (due to slicing). We show that it is not much bigger in practice, if at all. The main result however concerns its quality: third-party testers and verifiers perform substantially better on the new graph compared to the original CFG.