The high cost and growing importance of interprocedural data flow analysis have led to an increased interest in demand-driven algorithms. In this article, we present a general framework for developing demand-driven interprocedural data flow analyzers and report our experience in evaluating the performance of this approach. A demand for data flow information is modeled as a set of queries. The framework includes a generic demand-driven algorithm that determines the response to query by iteratively applying a system of query propagation rules. The propagation rules yield precise responses for the class of distributive finite data flow problems. We also describe a two-phase framework variation to accurately handle nondistributive problems. A performance evaluation of our demand-driven approach is presented for two data flow problems, namely, reaching-definitions and copy constant propagation. Our experiments show that demand-driven analysis performs well in practice, reducing both time and space requirements when compared with exhaustive analysis.
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