Formal Methods for GPGPU Programming: Is the Demand Met?

Lars B. van den Haak*, Anton Wijs, Mark van den Brand, Marieke Huisman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Over the years, researchers have developed many formal method tools to support software development. However, hardly any studies are conducted to determine whether the actual problems developers encounter are sufficiently addressed. For the relatively young field of GPU programming, we would like to know whether the tools developed so far are sufficient, or whether some problems still need attention. To this end, we first look at what kind of problems programmers encounter in OpenCL and CUDA. We gather problems from Stack Overflow and categorise them with card sorting. We find that problems related to memory, synchronisation of threads, threads in general and performance are essential topics. Next, we look at (verification) tools in industry and research, to see how these tools addressed the problems we discovered. We think many problems are already properly addressed, but there is still a need for easy to use sound tools. Alternatively, languages or programming styles can be created, that allows for easier checking for soundness .
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrated Formal Methods
Subtitle of host publication16th International Conference, IFM 2020, Lugano, Switzerland, November 16–20, 2020, Proceedings
EditorsBrijesh Dongol, Elena Troubitsyna
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-63461-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-63460-5
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2020
Event16th International Conference on Integrated Formal Methods, IFM 2020 - Virtual Event
Duration: 16 Nov 202020 Nov 2020
Conference number: 16

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference16th International Conference on Integrated Formal Methods, IFM 2020
Abbreviated titleIFM 2020
CityVirtual Event


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