Model Checking Recursive Programs with Numeric Data Types
Pushdown systems (PDS) naturally model sequential recursive programs. Numeric data types also often arise in real-world programs. We study the extension of PDS with unbounded counters, which naturally model numeric data types. Although this extension is Turing-powerful, reachability is known to be decidable when the number of reversals between incrementing and decrementing modes is bounded. In this paper, we (1) pinpoint the decidability/complexity of reachability and linear/branching time model checking over PDS with reversal-bounded counters (PCo), and (2) experimentally demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in analysing software. We show reachability over PCo is NP-complete, while LTL is coNEXP-complete (coNP-complete for fixed formulas). In contrast, we prove that EF-logic over PCo is undecidable. Our NP upper bounds are by a direct poly-time reduction to satisfaction over existential Presburger formulas, allowing us to tap into highly optimized solvers like Z3. Although reversal-bounded analysis is incomplete for PDS with unbounded counters in general, our experiments suggest that some intricate bugs (e.g. from Linux device drivers) can be discovered with a small number of reversals. We also pinpoint the decidability/complexity of various extensions of PCo, e.g., with discrete clocks.
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