Global guidance for local generalization in model checking
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2023

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 Linear Integer Arithmetic and Linear Rational Aritmetic 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.

Model checking

Automatic program verification


Constrained horn clauses


Hari Govind Vediramana Krishnan

University of Waterloo

Yu-Ting Chen

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Formella metoder

Sharon Shoham

Tel Aviv University

Arie Gurfinkel

University of Waterloo

Formal Methods in System Design

0925-9856 (ISSN) 1572-8102 (eISSN)

Vol. In Press


Inbäddad systemteknik


Datavetenskap (datalogi)



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