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Title: Algorithmic verification problems in automata-theoretic settings
Author: Bundala, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 3655
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Problems in formal verification are often stated in terms of finite automata and extensions thereof. In this thesis we investigate several such algorithmic problems. In the first part of the thesis we develop a theory of completeness thresholds in Bounded Model Checking. A completeness threshold for a given model M and a specification φ is a bound k such that, if no counterexample to φ of length k or less can be found in M, then M in fact satisfies φ. We settle a problem of Kroening et al. [KOS+11] in the affirmative, by showing that the linearity problem for both regular and ω-regular specifications (provided as finite automata and Buchi automata respectively) is PSPACE-complete. Moreover, we establish the following dichotomies: for regular specifications, completeness thresholds are either linear or exponential, whereas for ω-regular specifications, completeness thresholds are either linear or at least quadratic in the recurrence diameter of the model under consideration. Given a formula in a temporal logic such as LTL or MTL, a fundamental problem underpinning automata-based model checking is the complexity of evaluating the formula on a given finite word. For LTL, the complexity of this task was recently shown to be in NC [KF09]. In the second part of the thesis we present an NC algorithm for MTL, a quantitative (or metric) extension of LTL, and give an AC1 algorithm for UTL, the unary fragment of LTL. We then establish a connection between LTL path checking and planar circuits which, among others, implies that the complexity of LTL path checking depends on the Boolean connectives allowed: adding Boolean exclusive or yields a temporal logic with P-complete path-checking problem. In the third part of the thesis we study the decidability of the reachability problem for parametric timed automata. The problem was introduced over 20 years ago by Alur, Henzinger, and Vardi [AHV93]. It is known that for three or more parametric clocks the problem is undecidable. We translate the problem to reachability questions in certain extensions of parametric one-counter machines. By further reducing to satisfiability in Presburger arithmetic with divisibility, we obtain decidability results for several classes of parametric one-counter machines. As a corollary, we show that, in the case of a single parametric clock (with arbitrarily many nonparametric clocks) the reachability problem is NEXP-complete, improving the nonelementary decision procedure of Alur et al. The case of two parametric clocks is open. Here, we show that the reachability is decidable in this case of automata with a single parameter.
Supervisor: Ouaknine, Joel Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Application software ; Algorithms ; Computer science--Mathematics ; temporal logic ; bounded model checking ; automata theory ; formal verification ; parametric timed automata