Journal article

KŘOUSTEK Jakub, POKORNÝ Fridolín and KOLÁŘ Dušan. Reconstruction of Instruction Idioms in a Retargetable Decompiler: Revisited. Computer Science and Information Systems (ComSIS). Novi Sad: 2014, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 1337-1359. ISSN 1820-0214. Available from:
Publication language:english
Original title:A New Approach to Instruction-Idioms Detection in a Retargetable Decompiler
Title (cs):Rekonstrukce instrukčních idiomů v rekonfigurovatelném zpětném překladači: Revidovaný Postup
Journal:Computer Science and Information Systems (ComSIS), Vol. 11, No. 4, Novi Sad, RS
compiler optimizations, reverse engineering, decompiler, Lissom, instruction idioms, LLVM, LLVM IR
Retargetable executable-code decompilation is a one of the most complicated reverse-engineering tasks. Among others, it involves de-optimization of compiler-optimized code. One type of such an optimization is usage of so-called instruction idioms. These idioms are used to produce faster or even smaller executable files. On the other hand, decompilation of instruction idioms without any advanced analysis produces almost unreadable high-level language code that may confuse the user of the decompiler.

In this paper, we revisit and extend the previous approach of instruction-idioms detection used in a retargetable decompiler developed within the Lissom project. The previous approach was based on detection of instruction idioms in a very-early phase of decompilation (a front-end part) and it was inaccurate for architectures with a complex instruction set (e.g. Intel x86). The novel approach is based on delaying detection of idioms and reconstruction of code to the later phase (a middle-end part). For this purpose, we use the LLVM optimizer and we implement this analysis as a new pass in this tool. According to experimental results, this new approach significantly outperforms the previous approach as well as the other commercial solutions.

   author = {Jakub K{\v{r}}oustek and Fridol{\'{i}}n Pokorn{\'{y}} and
	Du{\v{s}}an Kol{\'{a}}{\v{r}}},
   title = {A New Approach to Instruction-Idioms Detection in a
	Retargetable Decompiler},
   pages = {1337--1359},
   journal = {Computer Science and Information Systems (ComSIS)},
   volume = {11},
   number = {4},
   year = {2014},
   ISSN = {1820-0214},
   language = {english},
   url = {}

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