Journal of Automated Reasoning

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 419–439 | Cite as

Proof Pearl: A Formal Proof of Dally and Seitz’ Necessary and Sufficient Condition for Deadlock-Free Routing in Interconnection Networks

  • Freek Verbeek
  • Julien Schmaltz


Avoiding deadlock is crucial to interconnection networks. In ’87, Dally and Seitz proposed a necessary and sufficient condition for deadlock-free routing. This condition states that a routing function is deadlock-free if and only if its channel dependency graph is acyclic. We formally define and prove a slightly different condition from which the original condition of Dally and Seitz can be derived. Dally and Seitz prove that a deadlock situation induces cyclic dependencies by reductio ad absurdum. In contrast we introduce the notion of a waiting graph from which we explicitly construct a cyclic dependency from a deadlock situation. Moreover, our proof is structured in such a way that it only depends on a small set of proof obligations associated to arbitrary routing functions and switching policies. Discharging these proof obligations is sufficient to instantiate our condition for deadlock-free routing on particular networks. Our condition and its proof have been formalized using the ACL2 theorem proving system.


Deadlock-free routing Interactive theorem proving ACL2 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Computing and Information SciencesRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.School of Computer ScienceOpen University of The NetherlandsHeerlenThe Netherlands

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