Papers We Love Conf 2019

September 12, 2019 / St. Louis, Missouri

Karim Ali

University of Alberta

photo of Karim Ali

Is Program Analysis The Silver Bullet Against Software Bugs?

Program analysis is the art of reasoning about the run-time behavior of a program without necessarily executing it. This information is useful for various real-life applications such as supporting software developers (e.g., bug-finding tools, code refactoring tools, and code recommenders) and compiler optimizations. Program analysis is also used to ensure complex software adheres to standards and regulations (e.g., medical devices, car industry, and aviation industry).

In this talk, I will discuss the three main properties that enable program analyses to be useful in practice: scalability, precision, and usability. I will relate that to various papers that have been published in the field of program analysis, as well as some of the work that my group has done. I will conclude with where I see program analysis research going and the challenges that we aim to solve in the field.


Karim Ali is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta. His research interests are in programming languages and software engineering, particularly in scalability, precision, and usability of program analysis tools. His work ranges from developing new theories for scalable and precise program analyses to applications of program analysis in security and Just-in-Time compilers.

Karim obtained his PhD degree from the University of Waterloo in 2014, and was a postdoctoral research at Technische Universität Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt) 2014–2016.