What we Found in the BEAM Code

Melinda Tóth
Leader of the RefactorErl Project

Analysing BEAM code to recover information about the original sources presents several difficulties. While the high level source and the corresponding BEAM byte-code is semantically equivalent, the compilation process is, in general, not reversible: the Erlang compiler performs code optimization, and discards unnecessary syntactical information.

In this talk we will explain how we extended the framework of the static analyser tool RefactorErl with the BEAM analysis and highlight the main research challenges.

Talk objectives:

  • Present a methodology to build an Erlang syntax tree from the BEAM code.

Target audience:

  • Anyone interested in BEAM code, decompilation techniques, static analysis, intermediate source code representations, graph rewriting, etc 


Melinda Tóth works as a researcher at ELTE-Soft Nonprofit Ltd. (Budapest, Hungary), leading the ELTE-Ericsson Software Technology Lab. She is also assistant lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University, teaching distributed systems and Erlang/OTP technology. Melinda Tóth is chief architect of RefactorErl, a static source code analysis and transformation system for Erlang. 

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