We propose a novel formulation of the points-to analysis as a system of linear equations. With this, the efficiency of the points-to analysis can be significantly improved by leveraging the advances in solution procedures for solving the systems of linear equations. However, such a formulation is non-trivial and becomes challenging due to various facts, namely, multiple pointer indirections, address-of operators and multiple assignments to the same variable. Further, the problem is exacerbated by the need to keep the transformed equations linear. Despite this, we successfully model all the pointer operations. We propose a novel inclusion-based context-sensitive points-to analysis algorithm based on prime factorization, which can model all the pointer operations. Experimental evaluation on SPEC 2000 benchmarks and two large open source programs reveals that our approach is competitive to the state-of-the-art algorithms. With an average memory requirement of mere 21MB, our context-sensitive points-to analysis algorithm analyzes each benchmark in 55 seconds on an average. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.