Partial Program Analysis for Java

Partial Program Analysis for Java (PPA) is a static analysis framework that transforms the source code of an incomplete Java program into a typed Abstract Syntax Tree and, optionally, into a typed three-address representation called Jimple. The advantages of using PPA over standard parsers such as the Eclipse AST parser are:

Because disambiguating a partial Java program is an undecidable problem, the intermediate representation produced by PPA might contain some errors. PPA is still useful for software engineering research that tolerates a low level of errors and imprecision. Indeed, in an empirical study on four large open source systems, we recovered on average 91.2% correct types and produced only 2.7% erroneous types when analyzing a single class without its dependencies.

PPA for Eclipse and for Soot/Polyglot.

There are two flavors of PPA: PPA for Eclipse and PPA for Soot/Polyglot.

PPA for Eclipse uses the Eclipse JDT compiler as the frontend and is compatible with the Eclipse JDT Binding API. This version supports Java 5 constructs and analysis of code snippets. This is the actively maintained version of PPA.

PPA for Soot/Polyglot uses Polyglot as the frontend and can produce Jimple code to enable static analysis with Soot. It only supports Java 1.4 and well-formed Java files. This version was used to evaluate our approach, but only bug fixes are released now.


To download PPA for Eclipse, use the following update site:

PPA for Eclipse is available under the GNU Lesser General Public License and Eclipse is available under the Eclipse Public License.

Download information for PPA for Soot/Polyglot is available here.



For any comments, help, bug or feature requests, contact Barthélémy Dagenais at bart at cs dot mcgill dot ca.