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Safe Dynamic Memory Management in Ada and SPARK

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10873)

Abstract

Handling memory in a correct and efficient way is a step toward safer, less complex, and higher performing software-intensive systems. However, languages used for critical software development such as Ada, which supports formal verification with its SPARK subset, face challenges regarding any use of pointers due to potential pointer aliasing. In this work, we introduce an extension to the Ada language, and to its SPARK subset, to provide pointer types (“access types” in Ada) that provide provably safe, automatic storage management without any asynchronous garbage collection, and without explicit deallocation by the user. Because the mechanism for these safe pointers relies on strict control of aliasing, it can be used in the SPARK subset for formal verification, including both information flow analysis and proof of safety and correctness properties. In this paper, we present this proposal (which has been submitted for inclusion in the next version of Ada), and explain how we are able to incorporate these pointers into formal analyses.

Keywords

Compilation Safe pointers Formal verification Memory management 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the anonymous reviewers for their remarks, and Georges-Axel Jaloyan for his initial work on the design, formalization and implementation of these ownership rules for Ada and SPARK.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AdaCoreParisFrance
  2. 2.AdaCoreNew YorkUSA

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