A Unified Framework for Verification Techniques for Object Invariants

Authors Sophia Drossopoulou, Adrian Francalanza, P. Müller, Alexander J. Summers

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Sophia Drossopoulou
Adrian Francalanza
P. Müller
Alexander J. Summers

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Sophia Drossopoulou, Adrian Francalanza, P. Müller, and Alexander J. Summers. A Unified Framework for Verification Techniques for Object Invariants. In Types, Logics and Semantics for State. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 8061, pp. 1-25, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2008)


Object invariants define the consistency of objects. They have subtle semantics, mainly because of call-backs, multi-object invariants, and subclassing. Several verification techniques for object invariants have been proposed. It is difficult to compare these techniques, and to ascertain their soundness, because of their differences in restrictions on programs and invariants, in the use of advanced type systems (e.g., ownership types), in the meaning of invariants, and in proof obligations. We develop a unified framework for such techniques. We distil seven parameters that characterise a verification technique, and identify sufficient conditions on these parameters which guarantee soundness. We instantiate our framework with three verification techniques from the literature, and use it to assess soundness and compare expressiveness.
  • Object invariants
  • visible states semantics
  • verification
  • sound


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