A Theory of Termination via Indirection

Authors Robert Dockins, Aquinas Hobor

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Robert Dockins
Aquinas Hobor

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Robert Dockins and Aquinas Hobor. A Theory of Termination via Indirection. In Modelling, Controlling and Reasoning About State. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 10351, pp. 1-12, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2010)


Step-indexed models provide approximations to a class of domain equations and can prove type safety, partial correctness, and program equivalence; however, a common misconception is that they are inapplicable to liveness problems. We disprove this by applying step-indexing to develop the first Hoare logic of total correctness for a language with function pointers and semantic assertions. In fact, from a liveness perspective, our logic is stronger: we verify explicit time resource bounds. We apply our logic to examples containing nontrivial "higher-order" uses of function pointers and we prove soundness with respect to a standard operational semantics. Our core technique is very compact and may be applicable to other liveness problems. Our results are machine checked in Coq.
  • Step-indexed Models
  • Termination


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