Journal of Computer Science

Abstract Interpretation of Java Bytecode for Immutability Analysis

Oliver Haase

DOI : 10.3844/jcssp.2016.314.322

Journal of Computer Science

Volume 12, Issue 7

Pages 314-322


Even though immutability is a desirable property, especially in a multi-threaded environment, implementing immutable Java classes is surprisingly hard because of a lack of language support. We present a static analysis tool using abstract bytecode interpretation that checks Java classes for compliance with a set of rules that together constitute state-based immutability. Being realized as a Find Bugs plug in, the tool can easily be integrated into most IDEs and hence the software development process. Our evaluation on a large, real world codebase shows that the average run-time effort for a single class is in the range of a few milliseconds, with only a very few statistical spikes.


© 2016 Oliver Haase. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.