Pei Xu

University: University of Technology Sydney

Academic supervisors: Yulei Sui

Industry partner: DFCRC

Academic Background and Work Experience


Pei undertook his PhD studies at UTS, earning a degree in Information Technology. For the past two years, he has been researching static analysis algorithms, specifically in Context-Free Language Reachability. His current research focuses on implementing practical static analysis tools for smart contracts. He is enthusiastic about using his knowledge in this field to help enhance the security and usability of digital finance.


Thesis Topic


Static analysis of smart contracts for exploit detection

Context-free language reachability (CFL-reachability) is a fundamental framework for implementing various static analyses. CFL-reachability utilizes context-free grammar (CFG) to extend the expressiveness of ordinary graph reachability from an unlabeled graph to an edge-labelled graph. Solving CFL-reachability requires a (sub)cubic time complexity with respect to the graph size. An approach that can effectively reduce the graph size while maintaining the reachability result is highly desirable. Most of the existing graph simplification techniques for CFL-reachability (e.g., through merging equivalent nodes/edges on graphs) only work during the preprocessing stage, i.e., before dynamic CFL-reachability solving. However, in practice, there is a large proportion of equivalence relations only appear during dynamic reachability solving, leaving significant room for improvement during on-the-fly analysis.



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