Stateless Model Checking under a Reads-Value-From Equivalence

05/13/2021
by   Pratyush Agarwal, et al.
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Stateless model checking (SMC) is one of the standard approaches to the verification of concurrent programs. As scheduling non-determinism creates exponentially large spaces of thread interleavings, SMC attempts to partition this space into equivalence classes and explore only a few representatives from each class. The efficiency of this approach depends on two factors: (a) the coarseness of the partitioning, and (b) the time to generate representatives in each class. For this reason, the search for coarse partitionings that are efficiently explorable is an active research challenge. In this work we present RVF-SMC, a new SMC algorithm that uses a novel reads-value-from (RVF) partitioning. Intuitively, two interleavings are deemed equivalent if they agree on the value obtained in each read event, and read events induce consistent causal orderings between them. The RVF partitioning is provably coarser than recent approaches based on Mazurkiewicz and "reads-from" partitionings. Our experimental evaluation reveals that RVF is quite often a very effective equivalence, as the underlying partitioning is exponentially coarser than other approaches. Moreover, RVF-SMC generates representatives very efficiently, as the reduction in the partitioning is often met with significant speed-ups in the model checking task.

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