Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Looking forward to PLDI

Hi all, my name is Byron Hawkins and I'm a 4th year PhD student of Brian Demsky at the University of California, Irvine. I'm on my way to the conference this morning, starting with the second day of LCTES which is colocated with PLDI. My research focuses on security and compiler/runtime optimization, so I'm interested in the embedded platforms because the resource constraints in that environment are similar to high-performance security tools. While our target platforms have typical server CPU and memory architectures, our tools must minimize interference with the performance of the target application. The other half of my research on compiler and runtime optimization often encounters memory handling constraints, so I'm also interested in the ISMM topics and will attend some of those talks in the afternoon.

The main reason I'm attending the conference is to present my most recent security tool called ShrinkWrap in the PLDI Student Research Competition. We submitted a paper about this tool for the first time a few weeks ago, and now we are taking this opportunity to get feedback from the community about our approach. ShrinkWrap focuses on weaknesses in the PHP language, and it applies constraints to the protected program at the level of the interpreter IR. Since the PLDI community specializes in these elements of the software development infrastructure, we're looking forward to any observations and insights may share with us.

 Another reason I'm attending PLDI is to meet with Fabrice Rastello, who leads the compiler and optimization group at Inria. Next year I'll be traveling to Grenoble for a 6-month internship with Fabrice and one of his new PhD students. We'll be exploring an automated approach to dynamic profiling for compiler optimization. Current profiling techniques require significant manual effort to select the scope of profiling and implement the specific introspection mechanism. To increase accuracy, we plan to integrate feedback-guided search into the profiler, making it possible to automatically explore a much larger set of introspection points in the target program.

Thanks to the ACM and the sponsors of the PLDI SRC providing funding that makes it possible for me to attend the conference this week.

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