A hands-on introduction to the theory and construction of deductive program verifiers, covering both powerful techniques for formal program reasoning, and a perspective over the tool stack making up modern verification tools.
Students will earn the necessary skills for designing, developing, and applying deductive verification tools that enable the modular verification of complex software, including features challenging for reasoning such as heap-based mutable data and concurrency. Students will learn both a variety of fundamental reasoning principles, and how these reasoning ideas can be made practical via automatic tools.
By the end of the course, students should have a good working understanding and decisions involved with designing and building practical verification tools, including the underlying theory. They will also be able to apply such tools to develop formally-verified programs.
The course will cover verification techniques and ways to automate them by introducing a verifier for a small core language and then progressively enriching the language with advanced features such as a mutable heap and concurrency. For each language extension, the course will explain the necessary reasoning principles, specification techniques, and tool support. In particular, it will introduce SMT solvers to prove logical formulas, intermediate verification languages to encode verification problems, and source code verifiers to handle feature-rich languages. The course will intermix technical content with hands-on experience.
The slides will be available online.
Will be announced in the lecture.
Prerequisites / Notice
A basic familiarity with propositional and first-order logic will be assumed. Courses with an emphasis on formal reasoning about programs (such as Formal Methods and Functional Programming) are advantageous background, but are not a requirement.