Computer Aided Verification

Volume 1855 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 557-560

A Proof-Carrying Code Architecture for Java

  • Christopher ColbyAffiliated withCedilla Systems Incorporated
  • , Peter LeeAffiliated withCedilla Systems Incorporated
  • , George C. NeculaAffiliated withCedilla Systems Incorporated

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In earlier work, Necula and Lee developed proof-carrying code (PCC) [3,5],which is a mechanism for ensuring the safe behavior of programs. In PCC, a program contains both the code and an encoding of an easy-to-check proof. The validity of the proof, which can be automatically determined by a simple proof-checking program, implies that the code, when executed, will behave safely according to a user-supplied formal definition of safe behavior. Later, Necula and Lee demonstrated the concept of a certifying compiler [6,7].Certifying compilers promise to make PCC more practical by compiling high-level source programs into optimized PCC binaries completely automatically, as opposed to depending on semi-automatic theorem-proving techniques. Taken together, PCC and certifying compilers provide a possible solution to the code safety problem, even in applications involving mobile code [4].