Higher-Order and Symbolic Computation

pp 1–45

The Racket virtual machine and randomized testing


  • Casey Klein
    • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science DepartmentNorthwestern University
  • Matthew Flatt
    • School of ComputingUniversity of Utah
    • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science DepartmentNorthwestern University

DOI: 10.1007/s10990-013-9091-1

Cite this article as:
Klein, C., Flatt, M. & Findler, R.B. Higher-Order Symb Comput (2013). doi:10.1007/s10990-013-9091-1


We present a PLT Redex model of a substantial portion of the Racket virtual machine and bytecode verifier (formerly known as MzScheme), along with lessons learned in developing the model. Inspired by the “warts-and-all” approach of the VLISP project, in which Wand et al. produced a verified implementation of Scheme, our model reflects many of the realities of a production system. Our methodology departs from the VLISP project’s in its approach to validation; instead of producing a proof of correctness, we explore the use of QuickCheck-style randomized testing, finding it a cheap and effective technique for discovering a variety of errors in the model—from simple typos to more fundamental design mistakes.


Formal modelsRandomized testingBytecode verification

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013