A Data Driven Approach for Algebraic Loop Invariants

We describe a Guess-and-Check algorithm for computing algebraic equation invariants of the form \wedge_i f_i(x_1, ... , x_n) = 0, where

each f_i is a polynomial over the variables x_1, ... , x_n of the program. The Guess phase is data driven and derives a candidate invariant from data generated from concrete executions of the program. This candidate invariant is subsequently validated in a Check phase by an off-the-shelf SMT solver. Iterating between the two phases leads to a sound algorithm. Moreover, we are able to prove a bound on the number of decision procedure queries which Guess-and-Check requires to obtain a sound invariant. We show how Guess-and-Check can be extended to generate arbitrary boolean combinations of linear equalities as invariants, which enables us to generate expressive invariants to be consumed by tools that cannot handle non-linear arithmetic. We have evaluated our technique on a number of benchmark programs from recent papers on invariant generation. Our results are encouraging -- we are able to effifficiently compute algebraic invariants in all cases, with only a few tests.

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In  European Symposium on Programming (ESOP)

Publisher  Lecture Notes in Computer Science


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