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Verification of Flag Usage Patterns by Static Analysis Techniques

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-4614, e-ISSN: 1946-4622
Published April 01, 2014 by SAE International in United States
Verification of Flag Usage Patterns by Static Analysis Techniques
Citation: Zare, A., Datar, A., Kikuchi, M., Ichikawa, S. et al., "Verification of Flag Usage Patterns by Static Analysis Techniques," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Electron. Electr. Syst. 7(1):73-84, 2014,
Language: English


A flag is a global boolean variable used to achieve synchronization between various tasks of an embedded system. An application implementing flags performs actions or events based on the value of the flags. If flag variables are not implemented properly, certain synchronization related issues can arise which can lead to unexpected behavior or failure of the underlying system. In this paper, we present an automated verification technique to identify and verify flag usage patterns at an early stage of code development. We propose a two-step approach which consists of: a. identification of all potential flag variables and b. verification of flag usage patterns against predefined set of rules. The results of our experiment demonstrate that the proposed approach reduces the cost and complexity of the flag review process by almost 70%.