What Programs Want: Automatic Inference of Input Data Specifications


Nowadays, as machine-learned software quickly permeates our society, we are becoming increasingly vulnerable to programming errors in the data pre-processing or training software, as well as errors in the data itself. In this paper, we propose a static shape analysis framework for input data of data-processing programs. Our analysis automatically infers necessary conditions on the structure and values of the data read by a data-processing program. Our framework builds on a family of underlying abstract domains, extended to indirectly reason about the input data rather than simply reasoning about the program variables. The choice of these abstract domain is a parameter of the analysis. We describe various instances built from existing abstract domains. The proposed approach is implemented in an open-source static analyzer for Python programs. We demonstrate its potential on a number of representative examples.

CoRR abs/2007.10688