Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Static analysis of spreadsheet applications

Participants : Tie Cheng [correspondant] , Xavier Rival.

Abstract interpretation, Spreadsheet applications, Verification In [14] , we have proposed a static analysis to detect type unsafe operations in spreadsheet applications including formulas and macros.

Spreadsheets are widely used, yet are error-prone: they use a weak type system, allowing certain operations that will silently return unexpected results, like comparisons of integer values with string values. However, discovering these issues is hard, since data and formulas can be dynamically set, read or modified. We defined a static analysis that detects all run-time type-unsafe operations in spreadsheets. It is based on an abstract interpretation of spreadsheet applications, including spreadsheet tables, global re-evaluation and associated programs. Our implementation supports the features commonly found in real-world spreadsheets. We ran our analyzer on the EUSES Spreadsheet Corpus. This evaluation shows that our tool is able to automatically verify a large number of real spreadsheets, runs in a reasonable time and discovers complex bugs that are difficult to detect by code review or by testing.