Abstract interpretation

Approach to static program analysis / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In computer science, abstract interpretation is a theory of sound approximation of the semantics of computer programs, based on monotonic functions over ordered sets, especially lattices. It can be viewed as a partial execution of a computer program which gains information about its semantics (e.g., control-flow, data-flow) without performing all the calculations.

Its main concrete application is formal static analysis, the automatic extraction of information about the possible executions of computer programs; such analyses have two main usages:

Abstract interpretation was formalized by the French computer scientist working couple Patrick Cousot and Radhia Cousot in the late 1970s.[1][2]