Causal Termination of Multi-threaded Programs

Andrey Kupriyanov and Bernd Finkbeiner

We present a new model checking procedure for the termination analysis of multi-threaded programs. Current termination provers scale badly in the number of threads; our new approach easily handles 100 threads on multi-threaded benchmarks like Producer-Consumer. In our procedure, we characterize the existence of non-terminating executions as Mazurkiewicz-style concurrent traces and apply causality-based transformation rules to refine them until a contradiction can be shown. The termination proof is organized into a tableau, where the case splits represent a novel type of modular reasoning according to different causal explanations of a hypothetical error. We report on experimental results obtained with a tool implementation of the new procedure, called Arctor, on previously intractable multi-threaded benchmarks.

26th International Conference on Computer Aided Verification (CAV 2014).

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