A verified framework for symbolic execution in the ACL2 theorem prover

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Title: A verified framework for symbolic execution in the ACL2 theorem prover
Author: Swords, Sol Otis
Abstract: Mechanized theorem proving is a promising means of formally establishing facts about complex systems . However , in applying theorem proving methodologies to industrial -scale hardware and software systems , a large amount of user interaction is required in order to prove useful properties . In practice , the human user tasked with such a verification must gain a deep understanding of the system to be verified , and prove numerous lemmas in order to allow the theorem proving program to approach a proof of the desired fact . Furthermore , proofs that fail during this process are a source of confusion : the proof may either fail because the conjecture was false , or because the prover required more help from the user in order to reach the desired conclusion . We have implemented a symbolic execution framework inside the ACL2 theorem prover in order to help address these issues on certain problem domains . Our framework introduces a proof strategy that applies bit -level symbolic execution using BDDs to finite -domain problems . This proof strategy is a fully verified decision procedure for such problems , and on many useful problem domains its capacity vastly exceeds that of exhaustive testing . Our framework also produces counterexamples for conjectures that it determines to be false . Our framework seeks to reduce the amount of necessary user interaction in proving theorems about industrial -scale hardware and software systems . By increasing the automation available in the prover , we allow the user to complete useful proofs while understanding less of the detailed implementation of the system . Furthermore , by producing counterexamples for falsified conjectures , our framework reduces the time spent by the user in trying to determine why a proof failed .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -12 -2210
Date: 2011-02-11


A verified framework for symbolic execution in the ACL2 theorem prover. Doctoral dissertation, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -12 -2210 .

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