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Solving Constrained Horn Clauses over ADTs by Finite Model Finding

07/31/2021
by   Yurii Kostyukov, et al.
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First-order logic is a natural way of expressing the properties of computation, traditionally used in various program logics for expressing the correctness properties and certificates. Subsequently, modern methods in the automated inference of program invariants progress towards the construction of first-order definable invariants. Although the first-order representations are very expressive for some theories, they fail to express many interesting properties of algebraic data types (ADTs). Thus we propose to represent program invariants regularly with tree automata. We show how to automatically infer such regular invariants of ADT-manipulating programs using finite model finders. We have implemented our approach and evaluated it against the state-of-art engines for the invariant inference in first-order logic for ADT-manipulating programs. Our evaluation shows that automata-based representation of invariants is more practical than the one based on first-order logic since invariants are capable of expressing more complex properties of the computation and their automatic construction is less expensive.

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