Vacuity detection in temporal model checking

Orna Kupferman, Moshe Y. Vardi

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

60 Scopus citations


One of the advantages of temporal-logic model-checking tools is their ability to accompany a negative answer to the correctness query by a counterexample to the satisfaction of the specification in the system. On the other hand, when the answer to the correctness query is positive, most model-checking tools provide no witness for the satisfaction of the specification. In the last few years there has been growing awareness to the importance of suspecting the system or the specification of containing an error also in the case model checking succeeds. The main justification of such suspects are possible errors in the modeling of the system or of the specification. Many such errors can be detected by further automatic reasoning about the system and the environment. In particular, Beer et al. described a method for the detection of vacuous satisfaction of temporal logic specifications and the generation of interesting witnesses for the satisfaction of specifications. For example, verifying a system with respect to the specification ϕ = AG(req → AFgrant) (“every request is eventually followed by a grant”), we say that ϕ is satisfied vacuously in systems in which requests are never sent. An interesting witness for the satisfaction of ϕ is then a computation that satisfies ϕ and contains a request. Beer et al. considered only specifications of a limited fragment of ACTL, and with a restricted interpretation of vacuity. In this paper we present a general method for detection of vacuity and generation of interesting witnesses for specifications in CTL*. Our definition of vacuity is stronger, in the sense that we check whether all the subformulas of the specification affect its truth value in the system. In addition, we study the advantages and disadvantages of alternative definitions of vacuity, study the problem of generating linear witnesses and counterexamples for branching temporal logic specifications, and analyze the complexity of the problem.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationCorrect Hardware Design and Verification Methods - 10th IFIP WG 10.5 Advanced Research Working Conference, CHARME 1999, Proceedings
EditorsLaurence Pierre, Thomas Kropf
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)3540665595, 9783540665595
StatePublished - 1999
Event10th IFIP WG 10.5 Working Conference on Correct Hardware Design and Verification Methods, CHARME 1999 - Bad Herrenalb, Germany
Duration: 27 Sep 199929 Sep 1999

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference10th IFIP WG 10.5 Working Conference on Correct Hardware Design and Verification Methods, CHARME 1999
CityBad Herrenalb

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999.


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