One embodiment of the present invention provides a system that facilitates
configuring selected methods for instrument-based profiling at run-time.
The system first identifies a root method in a target application,
wherein only methods that are reachable from the root method during
execution of the target application are to be instrumented. The system
then instruments the root method. Next, while subsequently executing a
given instrumented method, the system determines if the given
instrumented method is about to be executed for the first time. If so,
the system instruments any methods that are called by the given
instrumented method, are loaded, and have not been instrumented before.