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Section: New Results

Static analysis of functional programs using tree automata and term rewriting

Participants : Thomas Genet, Thomas Jensen, Timothée Haudebourg.

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. We have already shown that tree automata completion can safely over-approximate the image of any first-order complete and terminating functional program. We have extended this result to the case of higher-order functional programs [40] and obtained very encouraging experimental results Besides, we have shown that completion was abble to take the evaluation strategy of the program into account [19]. The next step is to show the completeness of the approach, i.e., that any regular approximation of the image of a function can be found using completion. We already made progress in this direction [39].