We present a new interpolation based abstraction refinement algorithm for software model-checking. The refinement step uses interpolants computed from an error path to split the abstract states on this path. It incorporates the ideas of slicing abstraction and large block encoding. We run our model-checker on several benchmarks and show empirically that the presented algorithm terminates more often with a result than existing model checking techniques.
Localizing the cause of an error in an error trace is one of the most time-consuming aspects of debugging. We develop a novel technique to automate this task. For this purpose, we introduce the concept of "error invariants". An error invariant for a position in an error trace is a formula over program variables that over-approximates the reachable states at the given position while only capturing states that will still produce the error, if execution of the trace is continued from that position. Error invariants can be used for slicing error traces and for obtaining concise error explanations. We present an algorithm that computes error invariants from Craig interpolants, which we construct from proofs of unsatisfiability of formulas that explain why an error trace violates a particular correctness assertion. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm by using it to localize faults in real-world programs.
consuming part in program debugging. Fault localization techniques can help to automate this task. Particularly promising are static proof-based techniques that rely on an encoding of error traces into trace formulas. By identifying irrelevant portions of the trace formula, the possible causes of the error can be isolated. One limitation of these approaches is that they do not take into account the control flow of the program and therefore miss common causes of errors, such as faulty branching conditions. This limitation is inherent to the way the error traces are encoded. In this paper, we present a new flow-sensitive encoding of error traces into trace formulas. The new encoding enables proof-based techniques to identify irrelevant conditional choices in an error trace and to include a justification for the truth value of branching conditions that are relevant for the localized cause of an error. We apply our new encoding to the fault localization technique based on error invariants and show that it produces more meaningful error explanations than previous approaches.