State/event-based software model checking

Sagar Chaki, Edmund Clarke, Joël Ouaknine, Natasha Sharygina, and Nishant Sinha

We present a framework for model checking concurrent software systems which incorporates both states and events. Contrary to other state/event approaches, our work also integrates two powerful verification techniques, counterexample-guided abstraction refinement and compositional reasoning. Our specification language is a state/event extension of linear temporal logic, and allows us to express many properties of software in a concise and intuitive manner. We show how standard automata-theoretic LTL model checking algorithms can be ported to our framework at no extra cost, enabling us to directly benefit from the large body of research on efficient LTL verification.

We have implemented this work within our concurrent C model checker, MAGIC, and checked a number of properties of OpenSSL-0.9.6c (an open-source implementation of the SSL protocol) and Micro-C OS version 2 (a real-time operating system for embedded applications). Our experiments show that this new approach not only eases the writing of specifications, but also boasts important gains both in space and in time during verification. In certain cases, we even encountered specifications that could not be verified using traditional pure event-based or state-based approaches, but became tractable within our state/event framework. We report a bug in the source code of Micro-C OS version 2, which was found during our experiments.

2003, 20 pages.

PostScript(gz) / PDF © 2003 Natasha Sharygina.