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Automatic Inference of Frame Axioms Using Static Analysis

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2 Author(s)
Zvonimir Rakamaric ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC ; Alan J. Hu

Many approaches to software verification are currently semi-automatic: a human must provide key logical insights - e.g., loop invariants, class invariants, and frame axioms that limit the scope of changes that must be analyzed. This paper describes a technique for automatically inferring frame axioms of procedures and loops using static analysis. The technique builds on a pointer analysis that generates limited information about all data structures in the heap. Our technique uses that information to over-approximate a potentially unbounded set of memory locations modified by each procedure/loop; this over- approximation is a candidate frame axiom. We have tested this approach on the buffer-overflow benchmarks from ASE 2007. With manually provided specifications and invariants/axioms, our tool could verify/falsify 226 of the 289 benchmarks. With our automatically inferred frame axioms, the tool could verify/falsify 203 of the 289, demonstrating the effectiveness of our approach.

Published in:

Automated Software Engineering, 2008. ASE 2008. 23rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-19 Sept. 2008