[cs-talks] Zhiqiang Ren PhD Defense, 11/30 at 4pm in MCS B08

Harrington, Jacob Walter jwharrin at bu.edu
Tue Nov 29 09:16:37 EST 2016

Combining Type Checking with Model Checking for System Verification

Zhiqiang Ren, Boston University

Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 4 pm in MCS B08

Type checking is widely used in mainstream programming languages to detect programming errors at compile time.  Model checking is gaining popularity as an automated technique for systematically analyzing behaviors of systems.  My research focuses on combining these two software verification techniques synergically into one platform for the creation of correct models for software designs.

This thesis describes two modeling languages ATS/PML and ATS/Veri that inherit the advanced type system from an existing programming language ATS, in which both dependent types of Dependent ML style and linear types are supported. A detailed discussion is given for the usage of advanced types to detect modeling errors at the stage of model construction.  Going further, various modeling primitives with well-designed types are introduced into my modeling languages to facilitate a synergic combination of type checking with model checking.

The semantics of ATS/PML is designed to be directly rooted in a well-known modeling language PROMELA. Rules for translation from ATS/PML to PROMELA are designed and a compiler is developed accordingly so that the SPIN model checker can be readily employed to perform checking on models constructed in ATS/PML. ATS/Veri is designed to be a modeling language, which allows a programmer to construct models for real-world multi-threaded software applications in the same way as writing a functional program with support for synchronization, communication, and scheduling among threads.  Semantics of ATS/Veri is formally defined for the development of corresponding model checkers and a compiler is built to translate ATS/Veri into CSP# and exploit the state-of-art verification platform PAT for model checking ATS/Veri models. The correctness of such a transformational approach is illustrated based on the semantics of ATS/Veri and CSP#.

In summary, the primary contribution of this thesis lies in the creation of a family of modeling languages with highly expressive types for modeling concurrent software systems as well as the related platform supporting verification via model checking. As such, we can combine type checking and model checking synergically to ensure software correctness with high confidence.

Hongwei Xi (Advisor)
Assaf Kfoury
Azer Bestavros
Steve Homer
Abraham Matta (Chair)

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