Selected papers of the conference ''Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems'': TACAS 2012


Editors: Cormac Flanagan, Barbara König

This special issue of the journal Logical Methods in Computer Science (LMCS) contains revised and extended versions of four papers presented at the 18th International Conference on Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems (TACAS'12), held in Tallinn, Estonia during March 24 - April 1, 2012, as part of the Joint European Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software (ETAPS).

The papers collected in this special issue have been invited by the guest editors amongst the top papers presented at TACAS 2012 based on their relevance to LMCS. We are grateful to all authors for their contributions and to the reviewers of TACAS'12 and of this special issue for their thorough and valuable work.

Cormac Flanagan and Barbara König
Special Issue Editors TACAS'12

1. Reachability under Contextual Locking

Remi Bonnet ; Rohit Chadha ; Mahesh Viswanathan ; P. Madhusudan.
The pairwise reachability problem for a multi-threaded program asks, given control locations in two threads, whether they can be simultaneously reached in an execution of the program. The problem is important for static analysis and is used to detect statements that are concurrently enabled. This problem is in general undecidable even when data is abstracted and when the threads (with recursion) synchronize only using a finite set of locks. Popular programming paradigms that limit the lock usage patterns have been identified under which the pairwise reachability problem becomes decidable. In this paper, we consider a new natural programming paradigm, called contextual locking, which ties the lock usage to calling patterns in each thread: we assume that locks are released in the same context that they were acquired and that every lock acquired by a thread in a procedure call is released before the procedure returns. Our main result is that the pairwise reachability problem is polynomial-time decidable for this new programming paradigm as well. The problem becomes undecidable if the locks are reentrant; reentrant locking is a \emph{recursive locking} mechanism which allows a thread in a multi-threaded program to acquire the reentrant lock multiple times.

2. Partial Model Checking using Networks of Labelled Transition Systems and Boole an Equation Systems

Frédéric Lang ; Radu Mateescu.
Partial model checking was proposed by Andersen in 1995 to verify a temporal logic formula compositionally on a composition of processes. It consists in incrementally incorporating into the formula the behavioural information taken from one process - an operation called quotienting - to obtain a new formula that can be verified on a smaller composition from which the incorporated process has been removed. Simplifications of the formula must be applied at each step, so as to maintain the formula at a tractable size. In this paper, we revisit partial model checking. First, we extend quotienting to the network of labelled transition systems model, which subsumes most parallel composition operators, including m-among-n synchronisation and parallel composition using synchronisation interfaces, available in the ELOTOS standard. Second, we reformulate quotienting in terms of a simple synchronous product between a graph representation of the formula (called formula graph) and a process, thus enabling quotienting to be implemented efficiently and easily, by reusing existing tools dedicated to graph compositions. Third, we propose simplifications of the formula as a combination of bisimulations and reductions using Boolean equation systems applied directly to the formula graph, thus enabling formula simplifications also to be implemented efficiently. Finally, we describe an implementation in the CADP (Construction and Analysis of Distributed Processes) toolbox and present some […]

3. Parameterized Synthesis

Swen Jacobs ; Roderick Bloem.
We study the synthesis problem for distributed architectures with a parametric number of finite-state components. Parameterized specifications arise naturally in a synthesis setting, but thus far it was unclear how to detect realizability and how to perform synthesis in a parameterized setting. Using a classical result from verification, we show that for a class of specifications in indexed LTL\X, parameterized synthesis in token ring networks is equivalent to distributed synthesis in a network consisting of a few copies of a single process. Adapting a well-known result from distributed synthesis, we show that the latter problem is undecidable. We describe a semi-decision procedure for the parameterized synthesis problem in token rings, based on bounded synthesis. We extend the approach to parameterized synthesis in token-passing networks with arbitrary topologies, and show applicability on a simple case study. Finally, we sketch a general framework for parameterized synthesis based on cutoffs and other parameterized verification techniques.

4. Deciding Conditional Termination

Radu Iosif ; Filip Konecny ; Marius Bozga.
We address the problem of conditional termination, which is that of defining the set of initial configurations from which a given program always terminates. First we define the dual set, of initial configurations from which a non-terminating execution exists, as the greatest fixpoint of the function that maps a set of states into its pre-image with respect to the transition relation. This definition allows to compute the weakest non-termination precondition if at least one of the following holds: (i) the transition relation is deterministic, (ii) the descending Kleene sequence overapproximating the greatest fixpoint converges in finitely many steps, or (iii) the transition relation is well founded. We show that this is the case for two classes of relations, namely octagonal and finite monoid affine relations. Moreover, since the closed forms of these relations can be defined in Presburger arithmetic, we obtain the decidability of the termination problem for such loops.