The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Verifying multi-threaded software using SMT-based context-bounded model checking

Cordeiro, Lucas and Fischer, Bernd (2011) Verifying multi-threaded software using SMT-based context-bounded model checking At ICSE '11. Proceedings of the 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering, United States. 21 - 28 May 2011. , pp. 331-340.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


We describe and evaluate three approaches to model check multi-threaded software with shared variables and locks using bounded model checking based on Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT) and our modelling of the synchronization primitives of the Pthread library. In the lazy approach, we generate all possible interleavings and call the SMT solver on each of them individually, until we either find a bug, or have systematically explored all interleavings. In the schedule recording approach, we encode all possible interleavings into one single formula and then exploit the high speed of the SMT solvers. In the underapproximation and widening approach, we reduce the state space by abstracting the number of interleavings from the proofs of unsatisfiability generated by the SMT solvers. In all three approaches, we bound the number of context switches allowed among threads in order to reduce the number of interleavings explored. We implemented these approaches in ESBMC, our SMT-based bounded model checker for ANSI-C programs. Our experiments show that ESBMC can analyze larger problems and substantially reduce the verification time compared to state-of-the-art techniques that use iterative context-bounding algorithms or counter-example guided abstraction refinement.

PDF icse11-cordeiro.pdf - Other
Download (258kB)

More information

Published date: 21 May 2011
Venue - Dates: ICSE '11. Proceedings of the 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering, United States, 2011-05-21 - 2011-05-28
Organisations: Electronic & Software Systems


Local EPrints ID: 272050
ISBN: 978-1-4503-0445-0
PURE UUID: 3f751d62-881c-4053-babd-d9e84cc25b6a

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Feb 2011 10:51
Last modified: 01 Oct 2017 07:17

Export record


Author: Lucas Cordeiro
Author: Bernd Fischer

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.