February 24, 2015

Simple Code Coverage Analyzer

coco.cpp is a simple pintool for code coverage analysis. It comes with the Pin Framework.

The reason I write a post about it is because it's really a simple but well-designed tool. The code coverage information for an executable section is stored in a vector of booleans. Each boolean represents a byte in the executable section. If the boolean is set true it means the corresponding byte has been executed. If the boolean is set false the corresponding byte is untouched.

If you want the tool to produce the code coverage hash just add yourself a call that calculates the hash of the vector of booleans. This works well when the pintool is executed on small programs.

However when working with more complex programs it's possible you notice that different code coverage hashes produced for seemingly similar executions. This is not an error. The code coverage can be different between the executions in the finest graduality sense. One example is when the application exits via different path between the executions.

To filter these differences above you can virtually split the vector into many regions and produce the hash of each region. Now you may see that most of the hashes are the same between the executions.

UPDATE 24/February/2015 No official PIN repository to see coco.cpp but Gunther was kind to share it via Twitter for those want to take a look at without the need to download the framework. Thx!
  This blog is written and maintained by Attila Suszter. Read in Feed Reader.