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LuaTA : Lua Type Analysis and corresponding QuickCheck code

This is a static analysis for conservatively inferring run-time types of Lua programs. It forms the case study contained in the paper

QuickChecking Static Analysis Properties
Jan Midtgaard and Anders Møller
Proceedings of ICST'15

which focuses on testing properties related to static analyses (lattice properties, and monotonicity, strictness, and invariance of operations) using the increasingly popular QuickCheck methodology.

Note: the present analysis has been updated since the publication of the above paper.

The full source code of the analysis is available from this very URL

The analysis can be built as a command line client or as a web client available at

The coverage reports mentioned in the paper are available in the sub-directories:


  • OCaml, version 4.01.0 or newer
    • ocamlp4-extra (for 'camlp4of', required by bisect below)
  • OCaml libraries/tools (through OPAM):
  • GNU Make

The web interface further requires:

  • Js_of_ocaml (available through OPAM)
  • CodeMirror (included)
  • TextHover addon to CodeMirror (also included)


The analysis is released under a BSD license. The visualizer builds on CodeMirror which is MIT licensed, and the TextHover addon by Angelo Zerr.

Analysis instructions:

The file doc/ provides a basic description of the analysis architecture as well as an explanation of its output.

The analysis comes with both a command line interface and a web client.

To build the command line client, run:

$ make

To run the analysis on a Lua program, for example (see examples/ directory for other examples):

$ ./luata examples/table06.lua

The result will now be printed to the console.

To reduce the amount of console output passing the option -no-heap will just emit the warnings:

$ ./luata -no-heap examples/table06.lua

Alternatively you can build the web client with

$ make js

The web client is now available as an HTML page with overlays in index.html (view with a web browser and shrink fontsize).

Quickcheck instructions:

The source code for the QuickCheck LCheck module is included in src/ for convenience, but is also separately available from

The source code applying LCheck to the Lua type analyses is available in src/

To rerun our quickchecking on the type analysis:

$ make -B edslcheck
$ ./edslcheck

Warning: the last step takes a full lunchbreak! You can comment out some tests at the bottom of src/ to run fewer tests.

Report instructions:

To reproduce the numbers in the paper's Table 1, regarding QuickCheck, test suite, and combined coverage, follow the below instructions.

  • To reproduce the QuickCheck coverage numbers:


    $ make -B edslcheckcov
    $ make -B runedslcheckcov
    $ make -B checkreport

    (Warning: the second step takes a full lunchbreak) The resulting report is now available in HTML format in cov-report-qcheck/index.html

  • To reproduce the original test suite coverage numbers:


    $ make -B testcov
    $ make -B runtestcov
    $ make -B testreport

    The resulting report is now available in HTML format in cov-report-test/index.html

  • To reproduce the combined coverage numbers:

    First run both the above (which will generate cov-report-qcheck.out and cov-report-test.out). Then

    $ make -B combinedreport

    The resulting report is now available in HTML format in cov-report-combined/index.html