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Abstract Threads

Alexander Malkis ( University of Freiburg )

Verification of large multithreaded programs is challenging. Automatic approaches cannot overcome the state explosion in the number of threads; semi-automatic methods require expensive human time for finding global inductive invariants. Ideally, automatic methods should not deal with the composition of the original threads and a human should not supply a global invariant. We provide such an approach. In our approach, a human supplies a specification of each thread in the program. Here he has the freedom to ignore or to use the knowledge about the other threads. The checks whether specifications of threads are sound as well as whether the composition of the specifications is error-free are handed over to the off-the-shelf verifiers. We show how to apply this divide-and-conquer approach to the interleaving semantics with shared variables communication where specifications are targeted to real-world programmers: a specification of a thread is simply another thread. The new approach extends thread-modular reasoning by relaxing the structure of the transition relation of a specification. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach by verifying two protocols governing the teardown of important data structures in Windows device drivers.



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