Section: New Results
Cell morphing: from array programs to array-free Horn clauses
Participants : Laure Gonnord, David Monniaux [(CNRS/Verimag)] , Julien Braine [(M2 Student)] .
Automatically verifying safety properties of programs is hard. Many approaches exist for verifying programs operating on Boolean and integer values (e.g. abstract interpretation, counterexample-guided abstraction refinement using interpolants), but transposing them to array properties has been fraught with difficulties. Our work addresses that issue with a powerful and flexible abstraction that morphes concrete array cells into a finite set of abstract ones. This abstraction is parametric both in precision and in the back-end analysis used. From our programs with arrays, we generate nonlinear Horn clauses over scalar variables only, in a common format with clear and unambiguous logical semantics, for which there exist several solvers. We thus avoid the use of solvers operating over arrays, which are still very immature. Experiments with our prototype VAPHOR show that this approach can prove automatically and without user annotations the functional correctness of several classical examples, including selection sort, bubble sort, insertion sort, as well as examples from literature on array analysis.
This work has been published in Static Analysis Symposium  for the array part. We are currently deseigning an extension to programs with inductive data structures.