Verifying Safety Properties Using Separation and Heterogeneous Abstractions

Copyright © (2004) by Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distrubuted for profit or commericial advantage. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

In this paper, we show how separation (decomposing a verification problem into a collection of verification subproblems) can be used to improve the efficiency and precision of verification of safety properties. We present a simple language for specifying separation strategies for decomposing a single verification problem into a set of subproblems. (The strategy specification is distinct from the safety property specification and is specified separately.) We present a general framework of heterogeneous abstractions that allows different parts of the heap to be abstracted using different degrees of precision at different points during the analysis. We show how the goals of separation (i.e., more efficient verification) can be realized by first using a separation strategy to transform (instrument) a verification problem instance (consisting of a safety property specification and an input program), and by then utilizing heterogeneous abstraction during the verification of the transformed verification problem.

By: Eran Yahav, G. Ramalingam

Published in: ACM SIGPLAN Notices, volume 39, (no 6), pages 35-46 in 2004


This Research Report is available. This report has been submitted for publication outside of IBM and will probably be copyrighted if accepted for publication. It has been issued as a Research Report for early dissemination of its contents. In view of the transfer of copyright to the outside publisher, its distribution outside of IBM prior to publication should be limited to peer communications and specific requests. After outside publication, requests should be filled only by reprints or legally obtained copies of the article (e.g., payment of royalties). I have read and understand this notice and am a member of the scientific community outside or inside of IBM seeking a single copy only.


Questions about this service can be mailed to .