Global Guidance for Local Generalization in Model Checking

Hari Govind Vediramana Krishnan*, Yu Ting Chen, Sharon Shoham, Arie Gurfinkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

17 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Aided Verification - 32nd International Conference, CAV 2020, Proceedings
EditorsShuvendu K. Lahiri, Chao Wang
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9783030532901
StatePublished - 2020
Event32nd International Conference on Computer Aided Verification, CAV 2020 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: 21 Jul 202024 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12225 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference32nd International Conference on Computer Aided Verification, CAV 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles


FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme639270, 759102
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
European Research Council
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation2016260
Israel Science Foundation1810/18


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