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Counterexample Generation in Probabilistic Model Checking

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3 Author(s)
Tingting Han ; RWTH Aachen University, Aachen and University of Twente, Enschede ; Joost-Pieter Katoen ; Damman Berteun

Providing evidence for the refutation of a property is an essential, if not the most important, feature of model checking. This paper considers algorithms for counterexample generation for probabilistic CTL formulae in discrete-time Markov chains. Finding the strongest evidence (i.e., the most probable path) violating a (bounded) until-formula is shown to be reducible to a single-source (hop-constrained) shortest path problem. Counterexamples of smallest size that deviate most from the required probability bound can be obtained by applying (small amendments to) k-shortest (hop-constrained) paths algorithms. These results can be extended to Markov chains with rewards, to LTL model checking, and are useful for Markov decision processes. Experimental results show that typically the size of a counterexample is excessive. To obtain much more compact representations, we present a simple algorithm to generate (minimal) regular expressions that can act as counterexamples. The feasibility of our approach is illustrated by means of two communication protocols: leader election in an anonymous ring network and the Crowds protocol.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 2 )