263-2812-00L Program Verification
|Semester||Spring Semester 2019|
|Lecturers||A. J. Summers|
|Periodicity||yearly recurring course|
|Language of instruction||English|
|Comment||Number of participants limited to 30.|
|Abstract||A hands-on introduction to the theory and construction of deductive software verifiers, covering both cutting-edge methodologies for formal program reasoning, and a perspective over the broad tool stacks making up modern verification tools.|
|Objective||Students will earn the necessary skills for designing and developing deductive verification tools which can be applied to modularly analyse complex software, including features challenging for reasoning such as heap-based mutable data and concurrency. Students will learn both a variety of fundamental reasoning principles, and how these reasoning ideas can be made practical via automatic tools. |
Students will be gain practical experience with reasoning tools at various levels of abstraction, from SAT and SMT solvers at the lowest level, up through intermediate verification languages and tools, to verifiers which target front-end code in executable languages.
By the end of the course, students should have a good working understanding and experience of the issues and decisions involved with designing and building practical verification tools, and the theoretical techniques which underpin them.
|Content||The course will be organized around building up a "tool stack", starting at the lowest-level with background on SAT and SMT solving techniques, and working upwards through tools at progressively-higher levels of abstraction. The notion of intermediate verification languages will be explored, and the Boogie (Microsoft Research) and Viper (ETH) languages will be used in depth to tackle increasingly ambitious verification tasks. |
The course will intermix technical content with hands-on experience; at each level of abstraction, we will understand who to build and use tools which can tackle specific program correctness problems, starting from simple puzzle solvers (Soduko) at the SAT level, and working upwards to full functional correctness of application-level code. This practical work will include three projects (typically worked on in pairs) spread throughout the course, which count towards the final grade. The graded projects are worth 40% in total, individually weighted at 14%, 13% and 13% respectively. The projects are a compulsory performance assessment; in this case, they need not be passed on their own, but will count 40% in all cases towards the final grading. An oral examination (worth the remaining 60% of the final grade) will examine the full technical content covered in the course.
|Lecture notes||Handouts (complementing the lecture material) and other materials will be available online.|
|Literature||Background reading material and links to tools will be published on the course website.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Some programming experience is essential, as the course contains several practical assignments. A basic familiarity with propositional and first-order logic will be assumed. |
Courses with an emphasis on formal reasoning about programs (such as Formal Methods and Functional Programming) are advantageous background, but are not a requirement.