Executive Summaries in Software Model Checking
Sammanfattning: Model checking is a technique used to verify whether a model meets a given specification by exhaustively and automatically checking each reachable state in the model. It is a well-developed technique, but it suffers from some issues, perhaps most importantly the state space explosion problem. Models may contain so many states that must be checked means that the model checking procedure may be intractable. In this thesis we investigate whether procedure summaries can be used to improve the performance of model checking. Procedure summaries are concise representations of parts of a program, such as a function or method. We present a design and an implementation of dynamically generated summaries as an extension of Java PathFinder, a virtual machine executing Java bytecode that is able to model check programs written in Java by backtracking execution, to explore different schedulings etc. We find that our summaries incur an overhead that outweighs the benefits in most cases, but the approach shows promise in certain cases, in particular when stateless model checking is used. We also provide some statistics related to cases when our summaries are applicable that could provide guidance for future work within this field.
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