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Symvex: A Symbolic Execution System for Machine Code
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Database and information techniques.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis is a part of an ongoing research project at Link ̈oping University.

The goal of the thesis work is to design and implement a prototype for a symbolic

execution system that scales well with larger programs and is capable of performing

symbolic execution on machine code. For this reason we have analyzed the current

state of symbolic executors that are able to perform symbolic execution on machine

code to see if we could use that implementation as base for our prototype. We

wanted to know if any of the existing systems scaled well with large software. We

found that neither of the existing systems worked well with the real life software in

our evaluation. Furthermore, even if it would have been possible to fix one of the

existing systems, the time required to figure out the faults in their implementation

would most likely have been too great. For this reason we decided to create

an implementation of our own from scratch. However, we did note that some

approaches in the existing systems seemed to work better with large software.

Specifically saving as little state as possible about the program seemed favorable.

Armed with the knowledge gained from the analysis, we managed to implement

a system that compared quite well with the existing systems. Our system was

able to execute all the real-life programs used in our tests, but unfortunately had

some issues with high memory usage for certain programs. In order to lessen the

problem with high memory usage, we present and discuss several potential ways

to mitigate this issue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 56 p.
Keyword [en]
symbolic execution, concolic execution, testing
National Category
Computer Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-124181ISRN: LIU-IDA/LITH-EX-A-15/074-SEOAI: diva2:896285
Subject / course
Computer Engineering
Available from: 2016-01-27 Created: 2016-01-20 Last updated: 2016-01-27Bibliographically approved

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