International Conference on Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems

TACAS 1998: Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems pp 151-166

Translation validation

  • A. Pnueli
  • M. Siegel
  • E. Singerman
Regular Sessions Various Applications

DOI: 10.1007/BFb0054170

Volume 1384 of the book series Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
Cite this paper as:
Pnueli A., Siegel M., Singerman E. (1998) Translation validation. In: Steffen B. (eds) Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems. TACAS 1998. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 1384. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


We present the notion of translation validation as a new approach to the verification of translators (compilers, code generators). Rather than proving in advance that the compiler always produces a target code which correctly implements the source code (compiler verification), each individual translation (i.e. a run of the compiler) is followed by a validation phase which verifies that the target code produced on this run correctly implements the submitted source program. Several ingredients are necessary to set up the — fully automatic — translation validation process, among which are:
  1. 1.

    A common semantic framework for the representation of the source code and the generated target code.

  2. 2.

    A formalization of the notion of “correct implementation” as a refinement relation.

  3. 3.

    A syntactic simulation-based proof method which allows to automatically verify that one model of the semantic framework, representing the produced target code, correctly implements another model which represents the source.


These, and other ingredients are elaborated in this paper, in which we illustrate the new approach in a most challenging case. We consider a translation (compilation) from the synchronous multi-clock data-flow language Signal to asynchronous (sequential) C-code.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Pnueli
    • 1
  • M. Siegel
    • 1
  • E. Singerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.Computer Science LaboratorySRI InternationalMenlo Park