Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


Perses: Syntax-Directed Program Reduction

Perses is a language-agnostic program reducer to minimize a program with respect to a set of constraints. It takes as input a program to reduce, and a test script which specifies the constraints. It outputs a minimized program which still satisfies the constraints specified in the test script. Compared to Delta Debugging and Hierarchical Delta Debugging, Perses leverages the syntax information in the Antlr grammar, and prunes the search space by avoiding generating syntactically invalid programs.

Supported Languages

Currently, Perses supports reduction for the following programming languages:

  • C: [c]
  • Cpp: [cc, cpp, cxx]
  • Rust: [rs]
  • Scala: [scala, sc]
  • Java: [java]
  • JavaScript: [javascript, js]
  • Python3: [py, py3]
  • GLSL: [glsl, comp, frag, vert]
  • Go: [go]
  • PHP: [php]
  • Ruby: [rb]
  • SQLite: [sqlite]
  • MySQL: [mysql]
  • Solidity: [sol]
  • System_Verilog: [v, sv]
  • SMTLIBv2: [smt2]

Support for other languages is coming soon.

Obtain and Run

There are three ways to obtain Perses.

  • Download a prebuilt release JAR file from our release page, for example,

    java -jar perses_deploy.jar [options]? --test-script <> --input-file <program file>
  • Clone the repo and build Perses from the source.

    git clone
    cd perses
    bazel build //src/org/perses:perses_deploy.jar
    java -jar bazel-bin/src/org/perses/perses_deploy.jar [options]? --test-script <> --input-file <program file>
  • If you want to always use the trunk version of Perses, perses-trunk automatically downloads and builds the latest version. NOTE: Bazel is the prerequisite to run perses-trunk successfully.

    chmod +x perses-trunk
    ./perses-trunk [options]? --test-script <> --input-file <program file>

Important Flags

  • --test-script <>: The script encodes the constraints that both of the original program file and the reduced version should satisfy. It should return 0 if the constraints are satisfied.

  • --input-file : the program needs to be reduced. Currently, Perses supports C, Rust, Java and Go. Note that we can easily support any other languages, if the specific language can be parsed by an Antlr parser.

Check all available command line arguments

java -jar perses_deploy.jar  --help


GNU General Public License 3.


Perse was first published at International Conference on Software Engineering 2018 as a full research paper.

  author = {Sun, Chengnian and Li, Yuanbo and Zhang, Qirun and Gu, Tianxiao and Su, Zhendong},
  title = {Perses: Syntax-Guided Program Reduction},
  year = {2018},
  publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
  doi = {10.1145/3180155.3180236},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Software Engineering},
  pages = {361–371},