Global Guidance for Local Generalization in Model Checking
Paper in proceeding, 2020

SMT-based model checkers, especially IC3-style ones, are currently the most effective techniques for verification of infinite state systems. They infer global inductive invariants via local reasoning about a single step of the transition relation of a system, while employing SMT-based procedures, such as interpolation, to mitigate the limitations of local reasoning and allow for better generalization. Unfortunately, these mitigations intertwine model checking with heuristics of the underlying SMT-solver, negatively affecting stability of model checking. In this paper, we propose to tackle the limitations of locality in a systematic manner. We introduce explicit global guidance into the local reasoning performed by IC3-style algorithms. To this end, we extend the SMT-IC3 paradigm with three novel rules, designed to mitigate fundamental sources of failure that stem from locality. We instantiate these rules for the theory of Linear Integer Arithmetic and implement them on top of Spacer solver in Z3. Our empirical results show that GSpacer, Spacer extended with global guidance, is significantly more effective than both Spacer and sole global reasoning, and, furthermore, is insensitive to interpolation.


Hari Govind Vediramana Krishnan

University of Waterloo

Yu-Ting Chen

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Formal methods

Sharon Shoham

Tel Aviv University

Arie Gurfinkel

University of Waterloo

Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)

03029743 (ISSN) 16113349 (eISSN)

Vol. 12225 LNCS 101-125

32nd International Conference on Computer Aided Verification, CAV 2020
Los Angeles, USA,

Subject Categories

Computational Mathematics

Embedded Systems

Control Engineering



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