ATOM, A Flexible Interface for Building High Performance Program Analysis Tools
Alan Eustace and Amitabh Srivastava
Digital Equipment Corporation, Western Research Laboratory
Code instrumentation is a powerful mechanism for understanding program
behavior.  Unfortunately, code instrumentation is extremely difficult,
and therefore has been mostly relegated to building special
purpose tools for use on standard industry benchmark suites.
ATOM (Analysis Tools with OM) provides a very
flexible and efficient code instrumentation interface that allows
powerful, high performance program analysis tools to be built with
very little effort.  This paper illustrates this flexibility by
building five complete tools that span the interests of application
programmers, computer architects, and compiler writers.
This flexibility does not come at the expense of performance.

Because ATOM uses procedure calls as the interface between the
application and the analysis routines, the performance of each
tool is similar to or greatly exceeds the best known hand-crafted

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