An Abstraction Technique for Verifying Shared-Memory Concurrency

Wytse Oortwijn*, Dilian Gurov, Marieke Huisman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


Modern concurrent and distributed software is highly complex. Techniques to reason about the correct behaviour of such software are essential to ensure its reliability. To be able to reason about realistic programs, these techniques must be modular and compositional as well as practical by being supported by automated tools. However, many existing approaches for concurrency verification are theoretical and focus primarily on expressivity and generality. This paper contributes a technique for verifying behavioural properties of concurrent and distributed programs that balances expressivity and usability. The key idea of the approach is that program behaviour is abstractly modelled using process algebra, and analysed separately. The main difficulty is presented by the typical abstraction gap between program implementations and their models. Our approach bridges this gap by providing a deductive technique for formally linking programs with their process-algebraic models. Our verification technique is modular and compositional, is proven sound with Coq, and has been implemented in the automated concurrency verifier VerCors. Moreover, our technique is demonstrated on multiple case studies, including the verification of a leader election protocol.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3928
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2020
Event21st International Conference on Verification,Model Checking, and Abstract Interpretation, VMCAI 2020 - JW Marriott New Orleans, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 19 Jan 202025 Jan 2020
Conference number: 21


  • concurrency verification
  • program logics
  • process algebra
  • code verification
  • abstraction


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