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We present a novel dynamic program analysis that builds a semantic view of program executions. These views reflect program abstractions and aspects; however, views are not simply projections of execution traces, but are linked to each other to capture semantic interactions among abstractions at different levels of granularity in a scalable manner.
We describe our approach in the context of Java and demonstrate its utility to improve regression analysis. We first formalize a subset of Java and a grammar for traces generated at program execution. We then introduce several types of views used to analyze regression bugs along with a novel, scalable technique for semantic differencing of traces from different versions of the same program. Benchmark results on large open-source Java programs demonstrate that semantic-aware trace differencing can identify precise and useful details about the underlying cause for a regression, even in programs that use reflection, multithreading, or dynamic code generation, features that typically confound other analysis techniques.