Control flow analysis
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In computer science, control-flow analysis (CFA) is a static-code-analysis technique for determining the control flow of a program. The control flow is expressed as a control-flow graph (CFG). For both functional programming languages and object-oriented programming languages, the term CFA, and elaborations such as k-CFA, refer to specific algorithms that compute control flow.[dubious ]
For many imperative programming languages, the control flow of a program is explicit in a program's source code.[dubious ] As a result, interprocedural control-flow analysis implicitly usually refers to a static analysis technique for determining the receiver(s) of function or method calls in computer programs written in a higher-order programming language.[dubious ] For example, in a programming language with higher-order functions like Scheme, the target of a function call may not be explicit: in the isolated expression
(lambda (f) (f x))
it is unclear to which procedure
f may refer. A control-flow analysis must consider where this expression could be invoked and what argument it may receive to determine the possible targets.
- Nielson, Flemming; Nielson, Hanne Riis; Hankin, Chris (2005). Principles of Program Analysis. Springer Science+Business Media.