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Barua Wins NSF Grant for New Binary Rewriter

Barua Wins NSF Grant for New Binary Rewriter

Dr. Rajeev Barua
Dr. Rajeev Barua

Associate Professor Rajeev Barua (ECE/ISR) is the principal investigator for a three-year, $349,059 National Science Foundation (NSF) Computer Systems Research award, “Binary rewriting without relocation information.”

Binary rewriters are pieces of software that accept a binary executable program as input, and produce an improved executable as output. The output executable usually has the same functionality as the input, but is improved in one or more metrics, such as run-time, energy use, memory use, security, or reliability.

Many optimizations for binary rewriting have been proposed to improve these metrics. However, existing binary rewriters have a severe limitation—they are unable to rewrite binaries that have no relocation information. Unfortunately, linkers typically discard relocation information, and hence virtually all commercial binaries lack relocation information. Consequently, they cannot be rewritten by existing rewriters.

This project will develop a new binary rewriter that can be used to statically transform binary code that does not have relocation information and to do so without the overhead of dynamic binary rewriting.

The research will allow anyone to rewrite any binary to improve its performance, security, or memory consumption, or to monitor its resource consumption. This powerful new ability could unleash innovation and engender a new class of commercial applications that would boost the productivity and security of their users.

For more information, visit the NSF website.

August 31, 2009

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