Publication details

Proving non-termination by program reversal



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI)
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Informatics

Keywords program analysis; nontermination proving
Description We present a new approach to proving non-termination of non-deterministic integer programs. Our technique is rather simple but efficient. It relies on a purely syntactic reversal of the program's transition system followed by a constraint-based invariant synthesis with constraints coming from both the original and the reversed transition system. The latter task is performed by a simple call to an off-the-shelf SMT-solver, which allows us to leverage the latest advances in SMT-solving. Moreover, our method offers a combination of features not present (as a whole) in previous approaches: it handles programs with non-determinism, provides relative completeness guarantees and supports programs with polynomial arithmetic. The experiments performed with our prototype tool RevTerm show that our approach, despite its simplicity and stronger theoretical guarantees, is at least on par with the state-of-the-art tools, often achieving a non-trivial improvement under a proper configuration of its parameters.

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