Sufficient Incorrectness Logic: SIL and Separation SIL

Flavio Ascari,Roberto Bruni,Roberta Gori, Francesco Logozzo


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Sound over-approximation methods have been proved effective for guaranteeing the absence of errors, but inevitably they produce false alarms that can hamper the programmers. Conversely, under-approximation methods are aimed at bug finding and are free from false alarms. We introduce Sufficient Incorrectness Logic (SIL), a new under-approximating, triple-based program logic to reason about program errors. SIL is designed to set apart the initial states leading to errors. We prove that SIL is correct and complete for a minimal set of rules, and we study additional rules that can facilitate program analyses. We formally compare SIL to existing triple-based program logics. Incorrectness Logic and SIL both perform under-approximations, but while the former exposes only true errors, the latter locates the set of initial states that lead to such errors, as Outcome Logic can do too. Hoare Logic performs over-approximations and as such cannot capture the set of initial states leading to errors in nondeterministic programs -- for deterministic and terminating programs, Hoare Logic and SIL coincide. Finally, we instantiate SIL with Separation Logic formulae (Separation SIL) to handle pointers and dynamic allocation and we prove its correctness. We argue that in some cases Separation SIL can yield more succinct postconditions and provide stronger guarantees than Incorrectness Separation Logic and can support effective backward reasoning.
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