Software Investigate

Automatic Documentation Inference for Exceptions

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Executive Summary

Exception handling is a powerful and widely-used programming language abstraction for constructing robust software systems. Unfortunately, it introduces an inter-procedural flow of control that can be difficult to reason about. Failure to do so correctly can lead to security vulnerabilities, breaches of API encapsulation, and any number of safety policy violations. The authors present a fully automated tool that statically infers and characterizes exception-causing conditions in Java programs. Their tool is based on an inter-procedural, context-sensitive analysis. The output of this tool is well-suited for use as human-readable documentation of exceptional conditions.

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