Overall Objectives
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New Results
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Section: New Results

Static analysis of functional programs using tree automata and term rewriting

Participant : Thomas Genet.

We develop a specific theory and the related tools for analyzing programs whose semantics is defined using term rewriting systems. The analysis principle is based on regular approximations of infinite sets of terms reachable by rewriting. Regular tree languages are (possibly) infinite languages which can be finitely represented using tree automata. To over-approximate sets of reachable terms, the tools we develop use the Tree Automata Completion (TAC) algorithm to compute a tree automaton recognizing a superset of all reachable terms. This over-approximation is then used to prove properties on the program by showing that some “bad” terms, encoding dangerous or problematic configurations, are not in the superset and thus not reachable. This is a specific form of, so-called, Regular Tree Model Checking. In [16], we have shown two results. The first result is a precision result guaranteeing that, for most of term rewriting systems known to have a regular set of reachable terms, TAC always compute it in an exact way. The second result shows that tree automata completion can be applied to functional programs to over-approximate their image. In particular, we have shown that tree automata completion computes a safe over-approximation of the image of any first-order, purely functional, complete and terminating program. Now, our first next objective is to demonstrate the accuracy of those regular approximations to perform lightweight formal verification of functional programs. The second objective is to lift those results to higher-order purely functional programs.