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Title: Higher-order model checking with traversals
Author: Neatherway, Robin Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 752X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Higher-order recursion schemes are a powerful model of functional computation that grew out of traditional recursive program schemes and generalisations of grammars. It is common to view recursion schemes as generators of possibly-infinite trees, which Ong showed to have a decidable monadic second order theory and opened the door to applications in verification. Kobayashi later presented an intersection type characterisation of the model checking problem, on which most subsequent applied work is based. In recent work, recursion schemes have been considered to play a role similar to Boolean programs in verification of first-order imperative programs: a natural target for abstraction of programs with very large or infinite data domains. In this thesis we focus on the development of model checking algorithms for variants of recursion schemes. We start our contributions with a model checking algorithm inspired by the fully abstract game semantics of recursion schemes, but specified as a goal-directed approach to intersection type inference, that offers a unification of the views of Ong and Kobayashi. We build on this largely theoretical contribution with two orthogonal extensions and practical implementations. First, we develop a new extension of recursion schemes: higher-order recursion schemes with cases, which add non-determinism and a case construct operating over a finite data domain. These additions provide us with a more natural and succinct target for abstraction from functional programs: encoding data using functions inevitably results in an increase in the order and arity of the scheme, which have a direct impact on the worst-case complexity of the problem. We characterise the model checking problem using a novel intersection and union type system and give a practical algorithm for type inference in this system. We have carried out an empirical evaluation of the implementation --- the tool TRAVMC --- using a variety of problem instances from the literature and a new suite of problem instances derived via an abstraction-refinement procedure from functional programs. Second, we extend our approach from safety properties to all properties expressible in monadic second order logic using alternating parity tree automata as our specification language. We again provide an implementation and an empirical evaluation, which shows that despite the challenges accompanying liveness properties our tool scales beyond the current state of the art.
Supervisor: Ong, C.-H. Luke Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Computer science (mathematics) ; Theory and automated verification ; software verification ; intersection types ; model checking