2011

Editor: Parosh A. Abdulla

This special issue contains extended versions of papers presented at TACAS2011, the seventeenth Annual Conference on TOOLS AND ALGORITHMS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND ANALYSIS OF SYSTEMS, held in Saarbrücken, Germany, March 26 - April 3, 2011. TACAS is a forum for researchers, developers, and users interested in rigorously based tools and algorithms for the construction and analysis of systems. The conference serves to bridge the gaps between different communities that share common interests in, and techniques for, tool development and its algorithmic foundations. TACAS is a member conference of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software (ETAPS), which is the primary European forum for academic and industrial researchers working on topics relating to Software Science.

The seven papers collected in this special issue were invited by the guest editors. The selection was made on the basis of the ranking of the papers by the Program Committee and the opinion of the expert reviewers who assisted the Program Committee. The papers reflect the high level of the conference and represent a wide range of topics including model checking, verification, satisfiability problems, predicate abstraction, and rewriting systems. We are grateful to the authors for their excellent submissions.

All papers were refereed in accordance with the usual high standards of LMCS. We are grateful to the members of the Program Committee of TACAS 2011 and their subreferees as well as to all those who have served as reviewers of the papers submitted to this special issue. We would also like to thank Jiri Adámek, Executive Editor, and Benjamin C. Pierce, Managing Editor, of LMCS for his assistance and guidance.

Parosh A. Abdulla and K. Rustan M. Leino

Guest Editors and PC Co-Chairs of TACAS 2011

Guest Editors and PC Co-Chairs of TACAS 2011

The stochastic Boolean satisfiability (SSAT) problem has been introduced by Papadimitriou in 1985 when adding a probabilistic model of uncertainty to propositional satisfiability through randomized quantification. SSAT has many applications, among them probabilistic bounded model checking (PBMC) of symbolically represented Markov decision processes. This article identifies a notion of Craig interpolant for the SSAT framework and develops an algorithm for computing such interpolants based on a resolution calculus for SSAT. As a potential application area of this novel concept of Craig interpolation, we address the symbolic analysis of probabilistic systems. We first investigate the use of interpolation in probabilistic state reachability analysis, turning the falsification procedure employing PBMC into a verification technique for probabilistic safety properties. We furthermore propose an interpolation-based approach to probabilistic region stability, being able to verify that the probability of stabilizing within some region is sufficiently large.

In many practical application domains, the software is organized into a set of threads, whose activation is exclusive and controlled by a cooperative scheduling policy: threads execute, without any interruption, until they either terminate or yield the control explicitly to the scheduler. The formal verification of such software poses significant challenges. On the one side, each thread may have infinite state space, and might call for abstraction. On the other side, the scheduling policy is often important for correctness, and an approach based on abstracting the scheduler may result in loss of precision and false positives. Unfortunately, the translation of the problem into a purely sequential software model checking problem turns out to be highly inefficient for the available technologies. We propose a software model checking technique that exploits the intrinsic structure of these programs. Each thread is translated into a separate sequential program and explored symbolically with lazy abstraction, while the overall verification is orchestrated by the direct execution of the scheduler. The approach is optimized by filtering the exploration of the scheduler with the integration of partial-order reduction. The technique, called ESST (Explicit Scheduler, Symbolic Threads) has been implemented and experimentally evaluated on a significant set of benchmarks. The results demonstrate that ESST technique is way more effective than software model checking applied to the […]

The problem of computing Craig interpolants in SAT and SMT has recently received a lot of interest, mainly for its applications in formal verification. Efficient algorithms for interpolant generation have been presented for some theories of interest ---including that of equality and uninterpreted functions, linear arithmetic over the rationals, and their combination--- and they are successfully used within model checking tools. For the theory of linear arithmetic over the integers (LA(Z)), however, the problem of finding an interpolant is more challenging, and the task of developing efficient interpolant generators for the full theory LA(Z) is still the objective of ongoing research. In this paper we try to close this gap. We build on previous work and present a novel interpolation algorithm for SMT(LA(Z)), which exploits the full power of current state-of-the-art SMT(LA(Z)) solvers. We demonstrate the potential of our approach with an extensive experimental evaluation of our implementation of the proposed algorithm in the MathSAT SMT solver.

AC-completion efficiently handles equality modulo associative and commutative function symbols. When the input is ground, the procedure terminates and provides a decision algorithm for the word problem. In this paper, we present a modular extension of ground AC-completion for deciding formulas in the combination of the theory of equality with user-defined AC symbols, uninterpreted symbols and an arbitrary signature disjoint Shostak theory X. Our algorithm, called AC(X), is obtained by augmenting in a modular way ground AC-completion with the canonizer and solver present for the theory X. This integration rests on canonized rewriting, a new relation reminiscent to normalized rewriting, which integrates canonizers in rewriting steps. AC(X) is proved sound, complete and terminating, and is implemented to extend the core of the Alt-Ergo theorem prover.

We address the predicate generation problem in the context of loop invariant inference. Motivated by the interpolation-based abstraction refinement technique, we apply the interpolation theorem to synthesize predicates implicitly implied by program texts. Our technique is able to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the learning-based loop invariant inference algorithm in [14]. We report experiment results of examples from Linux, SPEC2000, and Tar utility.

We propose a reachability verification technique that combines the Petri net state equation (a linear algebraic overapproximation of the set of reachable states) with the concept of counterexample guided abstraction refinement. In essence, we replace the search through the set of reachable states by a search through the space of solutions of the state equation. We demonstrate the excellent performance of the technique on several real-world examples. The technique is particularly useful in those cases where the reachability query yields a negative result: While state space based techniques need to fully expand the state space in this case, our technique often terminates promptly. In addition, we can derive some diagnostic information in case of unreachability while state space methods can only provide witness paths in the case of reachability.

This article proposes novel off-line test generation techniques from non-deterministic timed automata with inputs and outputs (TAIOs) in the formal framework of the tioco conformance theory. In this context, a fi?rst problem is the determinization of TAIOs, which is necessary to foresee next enabled actions after an observable trace, but is in general impossible because not all timed automata are determinizable. This problem is solved thanks to an approximate determinization using a game approach. The algorithm performs an io-abstraction which preserves the tioco conformance relation and thus guarantees the soundness of generated test cases. A second problem is the selection of test cases from a TAIO speci?fication. The selection here relies on a precise description of timed behaviors to be tested which is carried out by expressive test purposes modeled by a generalization of TAIOs. Finally, an algorithm is described which generates test cases in the form of TAIOs equipped with verdicts, using a symbolic co-reachability analysis guided by the test purpose. Properties of test cases are then analyzed with respect to the precision of the approximate determinization: when determinization is exact, which is the case on known determinizable classes, in addition to soundness, properties characterizing the adequacy of test cases verdicts are also guaranteed.