EECS 742

Static Analysis


EECS 742 - Static Analysis

Static analysis includes tecniques used to analyze softare prior to running it. Such techniques commonly include data flow analysis, control flow analysis, abstract interpretation, and type and effect systems. This course introduces basic static analysis techniques and their application to system verification and transformation. We will discuss the theoretical basis for various techniques and develop prototype analysis tool implementations.

Class Information

Room and Time
3150 Learned Hall
1:00-2:15 TR
Some discrete mathematics and knowledge of at least one modern programming language.
Instructor Information
Dr. Perry Alexander
Office Hours: 2:15-3:15 TR in 2022 Eaton Hall, or by appointment
Office: 2022 Eaton Hall
Phone: 4-7741
Principles of Program Analysis, Nielson, Nielson and Hankin, Springer. (optional)
Decision Procedures: An algorithmic point of view, Kroening and Strichman, Springer. (optional)
Papers from the literature provided in class
PPA Resource Page


You will perform several projects that will involve developing static analysis systems. These projects are an exceptionally important part of the course and provide insight into static analysis that cannot be gained by simply attending lectures. Projects will be assigned every 1-2 weeks and will involve code development and the use of a SAT solver or model checker. You will receive instruction in the use of those tools. Supporting documentation will be produced in LaTeX and submitted as PDF files.

You are required to submit your documented source code, testing results, test input files you have prepared, and any documentation needed to execute your code. Please use KU’s Blackboard system for submissions. Note that this and reporting grades are the only Blackboard functions we will use.

Project Descriptions


All exams are close book, closed notes, in-class exams. The final exam will be held during the time assigned by the University in our regular classroom.


Grades are assigned on a standard 10 point scale:

I do not use +/- grading scale. As this is a graduate class, the lowest passing grade is a C.

Classroom tasks are weighted using the following scale:

You must pass both projects and homework, and exams separately to pass the class. Specifically, if you get less than 60% on your projects and homework or less than 60% on your exams, you will not pass the course.

I may curve final grades at the end of the semester. However, I will never curve individual assignments or exams. If I curve and how much I curve is at my discretion.

Classroom Policies

The Three Commandments

Pretty simple. Follow them and we’ll be great friends!

  1. Don’t whine
  2. Don’t cheat
  3. Don’t tell me what you don’t need to know

Class Participation

I do not take attendance in class, however participation in class is important to its success. How much homework and how rigorously it is graded will definitely depend on class participation. Please ask questions and participate in class discussions. When assigning final grades, borderline cases will be decided based on class participation.

Grading Errors

If I have made an error in grading an exam or assignment, you have two weeks following the date the item is available to see me about correcting the problem. Note that this includes the final! After that time, your grade is set and will not be changed. I also request that you wait 24 hours after an exam is returned before coming to me with questions.


I may decide to curve final scores when the semester is over. Whether I curve and how much I curve is at my discretion. I will never curve up, but may curve down. Specifically, 90% and above will always be an “A”, but I may choose to lower the cutoff percentage. Whether I curve and how much I curve is at my discretion. I will never curve scores on an individual graded assignment or exam.


I encourage you to use email to contact me. I am logged in whenever I am working and check my mail frequently. Email is my preferred means of communication.__


The course blog is available on the website. I will post late-breaking news about projects, homework and class administration on the blog. Check the website and blog frequently, particularly around project due dates and exams.


Feel free to call me in any of my office at any time. I would prefer not to be called at home.

Office Hours

I will make every effort to be in my office during scheduled office hours. If there are exceptions, I will let you know as early as is possible. If you have a conflict with my office hours, please make an appointment. I have an open door policy, you are free to come by whenever you choose. If I am busy, I may ask that you come back later, but please don’t hesitate to ask!


Academic misconduct of any kind will automatically result in a 0 score on the homework, lab, project, or exam in question and your actions will be reported to the department chair. Your homework, exams and projects must be individually prepared unless otherwise noted. Posting your assignments to internet discussion lists is considered academic misconduct. Sharing your solutions with others is considered academic misconduct. Turning in solutions from previous semesters is considered academic misconduct. Paying people to prepare solutions is academic misconduct. Automated mechanisms are available for checking the originality of source code. Please spend your time trying to solve assigned problems rather than trying to get around the system. Don’t risk it!


Excusing a missed exam or assignment is left to my discretion. Illness, family emergencies, and religious observances are examples of acceptable excuses. Computer down time, over sleeping, and social events are examples of unacceptable excuses. Please try to let me know of problems in advance when possible and be prepared to provide verification of your excuse.


As a policy, I do not extend due dates of homework and projects. If I choose to do so, I will only announce the extension in class, via email or on the blog. If you hear an extension has been granted and I have not announced it, your information is incorrect. Remember that if I grant extensions early in the semester, it will necessarily compress due dates the end of the semester.

Dress Code

Ties are expressly forbidden in my classroom. If you wear one you will be taunted mercilessly. Exceptions are made for bow ties which we all know are cool


We will do quite a bit of bouncing around between topics and between papers and texts. It is quite important that you be in class. I will also add miscellaneous topics throughout the semester. Specific topics are subject to change without notice and will be covered as time permits.