Automatic cyclic termination proofs for recursive procedures in separation logic

Reuben Rowe, James Brotherston

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We describe a formal verification framework and tool implementation, based upon cyclic proofs, for certifying the safe termination of imperative pointer programs with recursive procedures. Our assertions are symbolic heaps in separation logic with user defined inductive predicates; we employ explicit approximations of these predicates as our termination measures. This enables us to extend cyclic proof to programs with procedures by relating these measures across the pre- and postconditions of procedure calls.

We provide an implementation of our formal proof system in the Cyclist theorem proving framework, and evaluate its performance on a range of examples drawn from the literature on program termination. Our implementation extends the current state-of-the-art in cyclic proof-based program verification, enabling automatic termination proofs of a larger set of programs than previously possible.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCPP 2017 Proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Certified Programs and Proofs
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-4705-1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2017

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