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Ph.D de

Ph.D
Group : Verification of Algorithms, Languages and Systems

Generic Decision Procedures for Axiomatic First-Order Theories

Starts on 17/12/2010
Advisor : MARCHÉ, Claude

Funding : Convention industrielle de formation par la recherche
Affiliation : Université Paris-Sud
Laboratory : LRI & Sté AdaCore

Defended on 01/04/2014, committee :
Directeurs de thèse :
Claude MARCHÉ (Directeur de Recherche à l'Inria Saclay–Île-de-France)
Andrei PASKEVICH (Maitre de Conférences à l'Université Paris-Sud)

Composition du jury :

Rapporteurs :
Nikolaj BJØRNER (Principal Researcher à Microsoft Research)
Albert RUBIO (Professeur à l'Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)

Examinateurs :
Joffroy BEAUQUIER (Professeur à l'Université Paris-Sud) Stephan MERZ (Directeur de Recherche à l'Inria Nancy)

Invités :
Johannes KANIG (Ingénieur de Recherche à AdaCore)
Yannick MOY (Ingénieur de Recherche à AdaCore)

Research activities :
   - Automated Proof, SMT and Applications

Abstract :
SMT solvers are efficient tools to decide the satisfiability of ground formulas, including a number of built-in theories such as congruence, linear arithmetic, arrays, and bit-vectors. Adding a theory to that list requires delving into the implementation details of a given SMT solver, and is done mainly by the developers of the solver itself.

For many useful theories, one can alternatively provide a first-order axiomatization. However, in the presence of quantifiers, SMT solvers are incomplete and exhibit unpredictable behavior. Consequently, this approach can not provide us with a complete and terminating treatment of the theory of interest.

In this thesis, we propose a framework to solve this problem, based on the notion of instantiation patterns, also known as triggers. Triggers are annotations that suggest instances which are more likely to be useful in proof search. They are implemented in all SMT solvers that handle first-order logic and are included in the SMT-LIB format.

In our framework, the user provides a theory axiomatization with triggers, along with a proof of completeness and termination properties of this axiomatization, and obtains a sound, complete, and terminating solver for her theory in return. We describe and prove a corresponding extension of the traditional Abstract DPLL Modulo Theory framework.

Implementing this mechanism in a given SMT solver requires a one-time development effort. We believe that this effort is not greater than that of adding a single decision procedure to the same SMT solver. We have implemented the proposed extension in the Alt-Ergo prover and we discuss some implementation details in the thesis.

To show that our framework can handle complex theories, we prove completeness and termination of three axiomatization, one for doubly-linked lists, one for applicative sets, and one for Ada's vectors. Our tests show that, when the theory is heavily used, our approach results in a better performance of the solver on goals that stem from the verification of programs manipulating these data-structures.

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