Monday, September 16, 2013 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Are Compilers Getting More or Less Reliable?

John Regehr:

Has the reliability of open source compilers decreased since GCC 2.7? This does not appear to be the case. In fact, this experiment indicates that the opposite might be true. Of course we need to be careful in interpreting these results, since randomly generated C programs are not necessarily representative: they could trigger bugs that no real C program triggers, while also missing all of the bugs that Miod is complaining about. On the other hand, take a look at the C programs above that trigger the new wrong-code bugs and try to convince yourself that these patterns will never occur during compilation of real code. A different source of bias in these results is that GCC 2.7 was never tested with Csmith, but the current versions of GCC and Clang have been subjected to extensive random testing.

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