Comparing Finite-State Verification Techniques for Concurrent Software

by George S. Avrunin, James C. Corbett, Matthew B. Dwyer, Corina S. Pasareanu, and Stephen F. Siegel

Technical Report UM-CS-1999-069, Department of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Submitted for publication.

Abstract: Finite-state verification provides software developers with a powerful tool to detect errors. Many different analysis techniques have been proposed and implemented, and the limited amount of empirical data available shows that the performance of these techniques varies enormously from system to system. Before this technology can be transferred from research to practice, the community must provide guidance to developers on which methods are best for different kinds of systems. We describe a substantial case study in which several finite-state verification tools were applied to verify properties of the Chiron user interface system, a real Ada program of substantial size. Our study provides important data comparing these different analysis methods, and points out a number of difficulties in conducting fair comparisons of finite-state verification tools.

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