TY - JOUR

T1 - Solving constrained Horn clauses modulo algebraic data types and recursive functions

AU - Hari Govind V, K.

AU - Shoham, Sharon

AU - Gurfinkel, Arie

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Owner/Author.

PY - 2022/1

Y1 - 2022/1

N2 - This work addresses the problem of verifying imperative programs that manipulate data structures, e.g., Rust programs. Data structures are usually modeled by Algebraic Data Types (ADTs) in verification conditions. Inductive invariants of such programs often require recursively defined functions (RDFs) to represent abstractions of data structures. From the logic perspective, this reduces to solving Constrained Horn Clauses (CHCs) modulo both ADT and RDF. The underlying logic with RDFs is undecidable. Thus, even verifying a candidate inductive invariant is undecidable. Similarly, IC3-based algorithms for solving CHCs lose their progress guarantee: they may not find counterexamples when the program is unsafe. We propose a novel IC3-inspired algorithm Racer for solving CHCs modulo ADT and RDF (i.e., automatically synthesizing inductive invariants, as opposed to only verifying them as is done in deductive verification). Racer ensures progress despite the undecidability of the underlying theory, and is guaranteed to terminate with a counterexample for unsafe programs. It works with a general class of RDFs over ADTs called catamorphisms. The key idea is to represent catamorphisms as both CHCs, via relationification, and RDFs, using novel abstractions. Encoding catamorphisms as CHCs allows learning inductive properties of catamorphisms, as well as preserving unsatisfiabilty of the original CHCs despite the use of RDF abstractions, whereas encoding catamorphisms as RDFs allows unfolding the recursive definition, and relying on it in solutions. Abstractions ensure that the underlying theory remains decidable. We implement our approach in Z3 and show that it works well in practice.

AB - This work addresses the problem of verifying imperative programs that manipulate data structures, e.g., Rust programs. Data structures are usually modeled by Algebraic Data Types (ADTs) in verification conditions. Inductive invariants of such programs often require recursively defined functions (RDFs) to represent abstractions of data structures. From the logic perspective, this reduces to solving Constrained Horn Clauses (CHCs) modulo both ADT and RDF. The underlying logic with RDFs is undecidable. Thus, even verifying a candidate inductive invariant is undecidable. Similarly, IC3-based algorithms for solving CHCs lose their progress guarantee: they may not find counterexamples when the program is unsafe. We propose a novel IC3-inspired algorithm Racer for solving CHCs modulo ADT and RDF (i.e., automatically synthesizing inductive invariants, as opposed to only verifying them as is done in deductive verification). Racer ensures progress despite the undecidability of the underlying theory, and is guaranteed to terminate with a counterexample for unsafe programs. It works with a general class of RDFs over ADTs called catamorphisms. The key idea is to represent catamorphisms as both CHCs, via relationification, and RDFs, using novel abstractions. Encoding catamorphisms as CHCs allows learning inductive properties of catamorphisms, as well as preserving unsatisfiabilty of the original CHCs despite the use of RDF abstractions, whereas encoding catamorphisms as RDFs allows unfolding the recursive definition, and relying on it in solutions. Abstractions ensure that the underlying theory remains decidable. We implement our approach in Z3 and show that it works well in practice.

KW - Algebraic Data Types

KW - Formal verification

KW - Model Checking

KW - Recursive Functions

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85123171791&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1145/3498722

DO - 10.1145/3498722

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AN - SCOPUS:85123171791

SN - 2475-1421

VL - 6

JO - Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages

JF - Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages

IS - POPL

M1 - 3498696

ER -