Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
XML PDF e-pub
PDF e-Pub

Section: New Results

Automated and Interactive Theorem Proving

Using symmetries in SMT

Participants : David Déharbe, Pascal Fontaine, Stephan Merz.

Joint work with Carlos Areces, Raúl Fervari, Guillaume Hoffmann, and Ezequiel Orbe at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (see also section 8.2 ).

Methods exploiting problem symmetries have been very successful in several areas including constraint programming and SAT solving. We proposed similar techniques for enhancing the performance of SMT-solvers by detecting symmetries in the input formulas and using them to prune the search space of the SMT algorithm. These techniques are based on the concept of (syntactic) invariance by permutation of symbols. In 2011, we presented a technique restricted to constants but which exhibited impressive results for some categories of formulas [4] ; this technique was quickly implemented in major SMT solvers, including CVC4 and Z3.

In 2013, we proposed, together with our colleagues at the University of Córdoba, Argentina, a more general approach to detect symmetries in an SMT context. These techniques are based on graph isomorphisms, and the Schreier-Sims algorithm for improving the presentation of the symmetries. This work was published at the SMT workshop 2013 [21] .

Computing minimal models (prime implicants)

Participants : David Déharbe, Pascal Fontaine.

Joint work with Daniel Le Berre and Bertrand Mazure from the CRIL laboratory in Lens, France.

Model checking and counter-example guided abstraction refinement are examples of applications of SAT solving that require the production of models for satisfiable formulas. Instead of giving a truth value to every variable, it is usually preferable to provide an implicant, i.e. a partial assignment of the variables such that every full extension is a model for the formula. An implicant is prime if every assignment is necessary. Since prime implicants contain no literal irrelevant for the satisfiability of the formula, they are considered as highly refined information.

In 2013, we proposed a novel algorithm that uses data structures found in modern CDCL SAT solvers for efficiently computing prime implicants starting from an existing model. The original aspects are (1) the algorithm is based on watched literals and a form of propagation of required literals, adapted to CDCL solvers, (2) the algorithm works not only on clauses, but also on generalized constraints, and (3) for clauses (and more generally, for cardinality constraints) the complexity of the algorithm is linear in the size of the constraints. We implemented and evaluated the algorithm with the Sat4j library. This work gave rise to a publication at the FMCAD 2013 international conference [13] .

Encoding TLA+ proof obligations for SMT solvers

Participants : Stephan Merz, Hernán Vanzetto.

The TLA+ proof system TLAPS (see section 5.2 ) is being developed within a project at the MSR-Inria Joint Centre to which we contribute. Typical proof obligations that arise during the verification of TLA+ specifications mix reasoning about sets, functions, arithmetic, tuples, and records. In previous work [47] , we have developed translations from TLA+ set theory to SMT-Lib, the standard input language of SMT solvers. The main challenge has been to design a sound translation from untyped TLA+ to the multi-sorted first-order logic that underlies SMT-Lib. Our solution is based on an incomplete type inference based on “typing hypotheses” present in TLA+ proof obligations. When type inference fails, we fall back to an “untyped” encoding where interpreted sorts such as integers are injected into a designated sort of TLA+ values, and proof obligations corresponding to well-sortedness conditions must be discharged during the proof.

In 2013, we have stabilized and extended the type inference, based on a more expressive type system that includes dependent types, predicate types, and subtyping. The new type system is able to solve many more typing conditions during the translation of proof obligations and thus improves both the scope and the efficiency of the SMT backend. It has been implemented as part of the SMT backend of TLAPS, and an article describing the type system has been submitted. A full description will appear in the PhD thesis of Hernán Vanzetto, expected to be defended in early 2014.

Formalization of stuttering invariance in temporal logic

Participant : Stephan Merz.

Extending our previous formalization in the interactive proof assistant Isabelle/HOL of the concept of stuttering invariance, we formally proved that a property expressible in propositional temporal logic is stuttering invariant if and only if it is equivalent to a formula using only the until temporal operator (and in particular not the next-time operator). The formalization follows the proof in the classical paper by Peled and Wilke [49] . It allowed us to uncover and correct an error in the proof that had previously not been known. The corresponding extended version of the Isabelle proof development has been accepted at the Archive of Formal Proofs .

Superposition modulo theories

Participants : Noran Azmy, Christoph Weidenbach.

We are currently in a transition phase moving Spass from a first-order logic prover to a first-order logic prover over theories Spass (T), in particular arithmetic. Our experience in combining Spass with interactive verification systems such as TLAPS or Isabelle shows that this is a mandatory step in improving automation [46] , [34] . Meanwhile we have built the theoretical foundations [41] , [40] , [43] for combining superposition with theories which we now turn into algorithmic solutions. This makes an overall reimplementation of Spass necessary. As a first step we reimplemented and improved our clause normal form transformation [11] .

In particular, we want to support integer theories and modulo reasoning [15] , as it is often used in distributed algorithms [46] . We have built first implementations of arithmetic modules which we want to combine in 2014 to a first version of Spass (T).

Presburger Arithmetic in Compiler Optimization

Participants : Marek Košta, Thomas Sturm.

One of our focuses in 2013 was the application of SMT-solvers in new and different problem areas. We started a fruitful cooperation with the Compiler Lab at the Saarland University, Germany on compilation of data-parallel languages.

Data-parallel languages like OpenCL and CUDA are an important means to exploit the parallel computational capabilities of today's computing devices. However, the historical development of data-parallel languages stemming from GPUs plays a crucial role when compiling them for a SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) CPU: on the CPU, one has to emulate dynamic features that on GPU are implemented in the hardware. This difference gives rise to several problems that have to be dealt with during the compilation process.

Our work [15] considers compilation of OpenCL programs for CPUs with SIMD instruction sets. It turns out that SMT-solvers can be used to generate more efficient CPU code. The lack of some dynamic features on CPU implies that one wants to statically decide whether or not certain memory operations access consecutive addresses. Our approach formalizes the notion of consecutivity and algorithmically reduces the static decision to satisfiability problems in Presburger Arithmetic. This is where SMT-solvers come into play. To make an application of an off-the-shelf SMT solver feasible, a preprocessing technique on the SMT problems was introduced. Combining three different systems (computer algebra system Redlog , SMT-solver Z3, and an OpenCL driver developed in the Compiler Lab), a proof-of-concept system based on our approach was developed. The system generated more efficient code than any other state-of-the-art OpenCL compiler.

Further development is needed to turn the proof-of-concept system mentioned above into one integrated software system. To achieve this, the redundant combination of three heterogeneous systems needs to be replaced by a coherent library offering the same functionality. The work [23] presents the development of such a novel library. The library provides functions to fully automatize the approach proposed in the previous work. It is capable of parallel computations by means of threads and processes and uses an SMT-solver library to carry out the needed computations. To create the final system, the integration of the library with the OpenCL driver needs to be done. This final step is left for future work.

Non-Linear SMT-Solving

Participants : Marek Košta, Thomas Sturm.

In [42] de Moura and Jovanović give a novel satisfiability procedure for the theory of the reals. The procedure uses DPLL-style techniques to search for a satisfying assignment. In case of a conflict, cylindrical algebraic decomposition (CAD) [38] is used to guide the search away from the conflicting state: on the basis of one conflicting point, the procedure learns to avoid in the future an entire CAD cell containing the point. The function realizing this learning is the crucial ingredient that makes the DPLL-style search possible at all. Unfortunately, it is the main computational bottleneck of the whole procedure.

The work of Brown [35] develops a more efficient learning function for the case when the cell to-be learned is full-dimensional. In collaboration with Prof. Brown (United States Naval Academy, USA), we extend this to the general case. While restricting to one cell is quite straightforward for the base and lifting phases of a CAD algorithm, our approach is able to optimize the projection phase as well. This requires a thorough analysis of available geometric infomation and properties of the involved projection operator. Our cell construction algorithm is able to produce bigger cells and it is faster than the approach used in [42] . Both of these are benefits, because a bigger cell means a better generalization of the conflicting assignment. Prototypical implementation of our cell construction algorithm gives very promising results on various kinds of problems. Its elaborate implementation and integration with an DPLL engine within the computer algebra system Redlog is left for future work. A publication has been submitted to the Journal of Symbolic Computation.

Towards Tropical Decision for NLA

Participant : Thomas Sturm.

Inspired by problems related to stability analysis of chemical reaction networks we have developed an incomplete decision procedure for satisfiability in nonlinear real arithmetic. A first implemented version focuses on specific situations where all variables are known to be stricly positive, which naturally occurs in many scientific contexts. Furthermore, only one single equation is considered. The principal tropical approach is, after reducing the problem to finding a point with positive value for f in the considered equation f=0, to consider instead of f only the exponent tuples of the contained summands as points in n. On that basis dominating summands can be identified using LP techniques.

In our particular application discussed in [14] , we were able to solve problems, which are intractable even by numerical methods: Typical input equations had around 6000 summands and up to seven variables of degrees between 4 and 9. The methods failed in only 3 percent of the 496 considered input problems.

We are currently generalizing the approach to the general case where variables can have arbitrary values. Furthermore, as it is well known that every existential decision problems over the reals can be equi-satisfiably encoded into one equation, we are aiming at a corresponding general procedure as a long-term research goal.

Hierarchical superposition for arithmetic

Participant : Uwe Waldmann.

Many applications of automated deduction require reasoning in first-order logic modulo background theories, in particular some form of integer arithmetic. A major unsolved research challenge is to design theorem provers that are “reasonably complete” even in the presence of free function symbols ranging into a background theory sort. The hierarchic superposition calculus of Bachmair, Ganzinger, and Waldmann already supports such symbols, but not optimally. We have introduced a novel form of clause abstraction, a core component in the hierarchic superposition calculus for transforming clauses into a form needed for internal operation. We have also demonstrated that hierarchic superposition is refutationally complete for linear integer or rational arithmetic, even if one considers the standard model semantics rather than the first-order semantics, provided that all background-sorted terms in the input are either ground or variables (variables with integer offsets can be permitted in certain positions).