Formal Methods and Software Engineering

Volume 5256 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 126-146

A Formal Soundness Proof of Region-Based Memory Management for Object-Oriented Paradigm

  • Florin CraciunAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, Durham University
  • , Shengchao QinAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, Durham University
  • , Wei-Ngan ChinAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, National University of Singapore

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Region-based memory management has been proposed as a viable alternative to garbage collection for real-time applications and embedded software. In our previous work we have developed a region type inference algorithm that provides an automatic compile-time region-based memory management for object-oriented paradigm. In this work we present a formal soundness proof of the region type system that is the target of our region inference. More precisely, we prove that the object-oriented programs accepted by our region type system achieve region-based memory management in a safe way. That means, the regions follow a stack-of-regions discipline and regions deallocation never create dangling references in the store and on the program stack. Our contribution is to provide a simple syntactic proof that is based on induction and follows the standard steps of a type safety proof. In contrast the previous safety proofs provided for other region type systems employ quite elaborate techniques.