Symbolic and Abstract Interpretation for C/C++ Programs

Author: Helge Löding and Jan Peleska:

We present a construction technique for abstract interpretations which is generic in the choice of data abstractions. The technique is specialised on C/C++ code, internally represented by the GIMPLE control flow graph as generated by the gcc compiler. The generic interpreter handles program transitions in a symbolic way, while recording a history of symbolic memory valuations. An abstract interpreter is instantiated by selecting appropriate lattices for the data types under consideration. This selection induces an instance of the generic transition relation. All resulting abstract interpretations can handle pointer arithmetic, type casts, unions and the aliasing problems involved. It is illustrated how switching between abstractions can improve the efficiency of the verification process. The concepts described in this paper are implemented in the test automation and static analysis tool RT-Tester which is used for the verification of embedded systems in the fields of avionics, railways and automotive control.

PDF file (345KB) (Extended version of a submission to 3rd intl Workshop on Systems Software Verification (SSV08) )