In the past decades we have witnessed major advances in the power of automated reasoning engines like Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT) and Horn clause solvers. As a consequence, there has been a renaissance of software verification based on this technology. Currently, there are a number of mature verifiers available coming both from academia and industry. However, despite these advances, the bar for newcomer researchers to contribute to this field is still very high. One of the main obstacles is the very large cost of development of a new software verifier from scratch. Hence, several groups have been independently working on implementing open software verification infrastructures, which would allow for easier prototyping of research ideas in this space, e.g., new algorithms for verifying relational or timing properties, thereby democratizing software verification.

This workshop aims to bring together the developers of open software verification infrastructures and their potential clients, meaning researchers and practitioners interested in developing prototypes of software verification algorithms.


The #workshop-democratize-sv channel of CAV 2020 on Slack. Zoom meeting info will be posted there.


Welcome (6:00am PDT)

Opening remarks and setup

Hydra: A Framework For Distributed Program Verification (6:15am PDT)

Program verification is a computationally intensive task. However, most state-of-the-art verifiers are unable to utilize readily available large computational resources. In this work, we design an algorithm for parallelizing SMT-based automated program verification. Our algorithm can split large verification tasks into smaller sub-tasks by utilizing information from the SMT solver and solve them in parallel on clusters of machines. We implement the proposed algorithm in a tool called HYDRA which is built on top of CORRAL, the verifier used by Microsoft’s Static Driver Verifier and evaluate its performance on hard Windows device driver benchmarks.

presented by Prantik Chatterjee
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CIVL-ized Concurrent Programs (6:45am PDT)

The CIVL verifier allows the construction of safety proofs for concurrent programs across multiple layers of refinement. Each refinement step focuses on a small simplifying program transformations, making proofs more manageable and reusable, and specifically eliminating the need to write complex invariants on the low-level encoding of the program as a flat transition system. Modular refinement reasoning is supported by a flexible combination of invariants, reduction, and linear permissions.

In this talk, we will report on CIVL from the perspective of verification features, programmer interaction, and the implementation atop Boogie.

presented by Bernhard Kragl
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A Guided Tour of a Static Analyzer for Data Science Software (7:15am PDT)

Nowadays, data science software and notably machine learning plays an increasingly important role in our daily lives. It thus becomes of paramount importance to have effective verification tools available to prove its correctness and reliability.

In this talk we will take you sightseeing through the architecture of Lyra, a static analyzer for Python components of a data science pipeline. The main attractions will be the submodules expressly designed to be stand-alone and reusable by other verification tools as well as the abstract domains designed to address new and challenging research problems that arise from targeting data science software.

presented by Caterina Urban
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Machine Learning based Program Analysis (7:45am PDT)

Program analysis has been widely adopted in both academia and industry to enhance the correctness, safety, and performance of programs. However, the effectiveness and scalability of existing program analyzers are often limited by suboptimal, manual design decisions. This talk will discuss two new program analysis techniques based on machine learning. First, I will introduce Lait, a learning based approximate transformer that removes redundant computation from static numerical analysis traces. Second, I will present ILF, a novel fuzzing method that learns to generate test inputs from symbolic execution traces. These techniques integrate domain knowledge in program reasoning for designing the learning algorithms, enabling fast and effective program analyses.

presented by Jingxuan He
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Prusti – Deductive Verification for Rust (8:15am PDT)

Producing reliable systems software is a major challenge, plagued by the ubiquitous problems of shared mutable state, pointer aliasing, dynamic memory management, and subtle concurrency issues such as race conditions; even expert programmers struggle to tame the wide variety of reasons why their programs may not behave as they intended. Formal verification offers potential solutions to many of these problems, but typically at a very high price: the mathematical techniques employed are highly-complex, and difficult for even expert researchers to understand and apply. The relatively-new Rust programming language is designed to help with the former problem: a powerful ownership type system requires programmers to specify and restrict their discipline for referencing heap locations, providing in return the strong guarantee (almost; we’ll discuss this..) that code type-checked by this system will be free from dangling pointers, unexpected aliasing, race conditions and the like. While this rules out a number of common errors, the question of whether a program behaves as intended remains.

In this talk I’ll give an introduction to the Prusti project, which leverages Rust’s type system and compiler analyses for formal verification of Rust code. By combining the rich information available about a type-checked Rust program with separate user-specification of intended behaviour, Prusti enables a user to verify functional correctness of their code without interacting with a complex program logic; in particular, specifications and all interactions with our implemented tool are at the level of abstraction of Rust expressions. Prusti is built upon the Viper intermediate verification language (designed to provide reusable infrastructure for implementing a wide variety of modern proof techniques), and I’ll give demos of both projects during the talk.

presented by Alex Summers
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Please register for the workshop through the CAV registration page.


This workshop will be held on July 20, 2020, and coinciding with the 32nd International Conference on Computer-Aided Verification (CAV). The workshop is chaired by developers of SMACK and SeaHorn: