Coverage of implementations by simulating specifications

Hana Chockler, Orna Kupferman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In formal verification, we verify that an implementation is correct with respect to a specification. When verification succeeds and the implementation is proven to be correct, there is still a question of how complete the specification is, and whether it really covers all the behaviors of the implementation. In this paper we study coverage for simulation-based formal verification, where both the implementation and the specification are modelled by labeled state-transition graphs, and an implementation I satisfies a specification 5 if S simulates X. Our measure of coverage is based on small modifications we apply to X. A part of J is covered by S if the mutant implementation in which this part is modified is no longer simulated by S. Thus, mutation coverage tells us which parts of the implementation were actually essential for the success of the verification. We describe two algorithms for finding the parts of the implementation that are covered by S. The first algorithm improves a naive algorithm that checks the mutant implementations one by one by exploiting the significant overlaps among the mutant implementations. The second algorithm is symbolic, and it improves a naive symbolic algorithm by reducing the number of variables in the OBDDs involved. In addition, we compare our coverage measure with other approaches for measuring coverage.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationFoundations of Information Technology in the Era of Network and Mobile Computing - IFIP 17th World Computer Congress - TC1 Stream / 2nd IFIP Int. Conference on Theoretical Computer Science (TCS 2002)
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781475752755
StatePublished - 2002
EventIFIP 17th World Computer Congress - TC1 Stream / 2nd IFIP International Conference on Theoretical Computer Science, TCS 2002 - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: 25 Aug 200230 Aug 2002

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
ISSN (Print)1868-4238


ConferenceIFIP 17th World Computer Congress - TC1 Stream / 2nd IFIP International Conference on Theoretical Computer Science, TCS 2002
CityMontreal, QC


  • Coverage
  • Model checking
  • Simulation


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