We call a data structure overlaid, if a node in the structure includes links for multiple data structures and these links are intended to be used at the same time. In this paper, we present a static program analysis for overlaid data structures. Our analysis implements two main ideas. The first is to run multiple sub-analyses that track information about non-overlaid data structures, such as lists. Each sub-analysis infers shape properties of only one component of an overlaid data structure, but the results of these sub-analyses are later combined to derive the desired safety properties about the whole overlaid data structure. The second idea is to control the communication among the sub-analyses using ghost states and ghost instructions. The purpose of this control is to achieve a high level of efficiency by allowing only necessary information to be transferred among sub-analyses and at as few program points as possible. Our analysis has been successfully applied to prove the memory safety of the Linux deadline IO scheduler and AFS server.
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