Over-Approximating Loops to Prove Properties using Bounded Model Checking
Priyanka Darkea, Bharti Chimdyalwarb, R. Venkateshc, Ulka Shrotrid and Ravindra Mettae
Tata Research Development and Design Center, India.
Bounded Model Checkers (BMCs) are widely used to detect violations of program properties up to a bounded execution length of the program. However when it comes to proving the properties, BMCs are unable to provide a sound result for programs with loops of large or unknown bounds. To address this limitation, we developed a new loop overapproximation technique LA. LA replaces a given loop in a program with an abstract loop having a smaller known bound by combining the techniques of output abstraction and a novel abstract acceleration, suitably augmented with a new application of induction. The resulting transformed program can then be fed to any bounded model checker to provide a sound proof of the desired properties. We call this approach, of LA followed by BMC, as LABMC.
We evaluated the effectiveness of LABMC on some of the SVCOMP14 loop benchmarks, each with a property encoded into it. Well known BMCs failed to prove most of these properties due to loops of large, infinite or unknown bounds while LABMC obtained promising results. We also performed experiments on a real world automotive application on which the well known BMCs were able to prove only one of the 186 array accesses to be within array bounds. LABMC was able to successfully prove 131 of those array accesses to be within array bounds.
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