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Dynamic data-structures with pointer links, which are heavily used in real-world software, cause extremely difficult verification problems. Currently, there is no practical framework for the efficient verification of such software systems. We investigated symmetry reduction techniques for the verification of software systems with C-like indirect reference chains like x→y→z→w. We formally defined the model of software with pointer data structures and developed symbolic algorithms to manipulate conditions and assignments with indirect reference chains using BDD technology. We relied on two techniques, inactive variable elimination and process-symmetry reduction in the data-structure configuration, to reduce time and memory complexity. We used binary permutation for efficiency, but we also identified the possibility of an anomaly of false image reachability. We implemented the techniques in tool Red 5.0 and compared performance with Murφ and SMC against several benchmarks.
Date of Publication: June 2004