Model checking LTL properties over C programs with bounded traces

Morse, Jeremy, Cordeiro, Lucas, Nicole, Denis and Fischer, Bernd (2013) Model checking LTL properties over C programs with bounded traces Software and Systems Modeling, n/a, n/a. (doi:10.1007/s10270-013-0366-0).


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Context-bounded model checking has been used successfully to verify safety properties in multi-threaded systems automatically, even if they are implemented in low-level programming languages such as C. In this paper, we describe and experiment with an approach to extend context-bounded software model checking to safety and liveness properties expressed in linear-time temporal logic (LTL). Our approach checks the actual C program, rather than an extracted abstract model. It converts the LTL formulas into Buchi automata (BA) for the corresponding never claims and then further into C monitor threads, which are interleaved with the execution of the program under analysis. This combined system is then checked using the ESBMC model checker. We use an extended, four-valued LTL semantics to handle the finite traces that bounded model checking explores; we thus check the combined system several times with different acceptance criteria to derive the correct truth value. In order to mitigate the state space explosion, we use a dedicated scheduler that selects the monitor thread only after updates to global variables occurring in the LTL formula. We demonstrate our approach on the analysis of the sequential firmware of a medical device and a small multi-threaded control application.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1007/s10270-013-0366-0
ISSNs: 1619-1366 (print)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Organisations: Electronics & Computer Science
ePrint ID: 354726
Date :
Date Event
July 2013e-pub ahead of print
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2013 10:22
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 15:14
Further Information:Google Scholar

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