Configurable Software Verification: Concretizing the Convergence of Model Checking and Program Analysis

Dirk Beyer, Thomas A. Henzinger, and Gregory Theoduloz

In automatic software verification, we have observed a theoretical convergence of model checking and program analysis. In practice, however, model checkers are still mostly concerned with precision, e.g., the removal of spurious counterexamples; for this purpose they build and refine reachability trees. Lattice-based program analyzers, on the other hand, are primarily concerned with efficiency. We designed an algorithm and built a tool that can be configured to perform not only a purely tree-based or a purely lattice-based analysis, but offers many intermediate settings that have not been evaluated before. The algorithm and tool take one or more abstract interpreters, such as a predicate abstraction and a shape analysis, and configure their execution and interaction using several parameters. Our experiments show that such customization may lead to dramatic improvements in the precision-efficiency spectrum.

Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Computer-Aided Verification (CAV), Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4590, Springer, 2007, pp. 509-523.

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