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A Fixpoint Calculus for Local and Global Program Flows Swarat Chaudhuri, U.Penn (with Rajeev Alur and P. Madhusudan)

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Software model-checking Code Abstraction Specification Model checker Yes/No Model M (pushdown for interprocedural; finite-state for intraprocedural) Logical formula (f) Does M satisfy f? mu-calculus, LTL, CTL… Flow sensitive

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Logics for software model-checking mu-calculus Canonical temporal logic Fixpoints over sets of states Suitable for symbolic implementation Equivalent to alternating tree automata Decidable model-checking on pushdown systems LTL CTL Is the mu-calculus the best specification logic for procedural programs?

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Problem #1 The mu-calculus cannot capture all properties of interest in pushdown models. call ret local write(v ) Reachability: Is write(v) reachable? In mu-calculus, Local reachability: Is write(v) reachable in the current context?

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Problem #2 Reachability in mu-calculus: Formula describes a terminating symbolic computation in finite-state systems (intraprocedural analysis). Application: mu-calculus is the “assembly language” in temporal logic model-checkers like NuSMV. What about pushdown models (interprocedural analysis)? Model-checking the mu-calculus on pushdown systems is decidable. But…

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Our contributions LTL CTL mu-calculus VP-mu VP-mu: EXPTIME Mu-calculus, CTL: EXPTIME Reachability games: EXPTIME Local, context-sensitive reachability Interprocedural dataflow involving local + global variables Pre/post-conditions Stack inspection Pushdown games Access control Formulas encode symbolic, interprocedural summary computations

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Local reachability call ret local write(v ) Is write(v) reachable in the current context? To jump across contexts, specification needs to have a stack. Unfortunately, model-checking pushdown specifications on pushdown models is undecidable.

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Visibility; structured trees call ret local p p p q p q foo bar foo bar Tree model = Unfolding of the graph of configurations of a procedural program Node of tree = control state + stack + history Procedure structure visible via an edge labeling p

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Summary trees call ret local p s u v Visibility lets us chop a tree into subtrees that summarize contexts. We could jump across contexts if we could reason about concatenation. call ret local Summary s u v Matching returns of s = {u,v}

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Logics on subtrees local s u Mu-calculus formulas can be interpreted at subtrees rather than nodes Formulas sets of subtrees Modalities argue about full subtrees rooted at children Why not a fixpoint calculus where: Formulas sets of summary trees and modalities argue about concatenation? Enter VP-mu.

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Reasoning using summaries local s u s Formulas sets of summaries Trees are possibly infinite (unmatched paths) call ret

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One-step local reachability local s u call ret

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Colored summary trees call ret Number of “leaves” is unbounded Solution: assign leaves k colors Colors are defined by formulas on demand

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Using colors call q 1

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Local reachability call 1 Use a variable X to store sets of summaries Compute a fixpoint of summaries 1 Summaries plugged into computation Symbolic computation Does this remind you of interprocedural dataflow analysis? Reach a leaf colored 1:

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The mu-calculus vs VP-mu The mu-calculus: fixpoints over full subtrees VP-mu: fixpoints over summary trees

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Global and local program flow Very busy expression e (x): Along all paths, use (e) appears before x is written. If x is local, use local reachability-like spec. If e involves local as well as global variables, track them using a combination of reachability and local reachability.

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Other properties Many other context and flow sensitive dataflow properties Pre/post-conditions: If P is satisfied at a call and R holds within its scope, then Q holds on return. Stack inspection: If control reaches an unsafe procedure, then a guaranteeing procedure must be on the stack. If control has ever been in an unsafe procedure, then P must hold so long as control is in a critical procedure. Games where some procedures are owned by Attacker and others are owned by Protector. Access control, stack boundedness…

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Model-checking Configuration of an interprocedural control-flow graph : foo bar Node of a tree: bar x u v Stackless summaries: Configuration for matching returns: Enough to consider stackless summaries. But they are finite in number! Same symbolic algorithm as for the mu-calculus (stackless summaries replacing states). History doesn’t matter (no past operator) Stack stays the same between call and matching return

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Expressiveness The mu-calculus is contained in VP-mu. CARET (Alur, Etessami, Madhusudan 2004) is contained in VP-mu. Satisfiability of VP-mu is undecidable. Even monadic second- order logic on trees has decidable satisfiability. Subsequent result: VP-mu = visibly pushdown alternating parity tree automata [Visibly pushdown tree languages – Alur, Chaudhuri, Madhusudan. Submitted; draft available on homepage] Analog of equivalence between the mu-calculus and alternating parity tree automata.

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Conclusions LTL CTL mu-calculus VP-mu VP-mu: EXPTIME Mu-calculus, CTL: EXPTIME Reachability games: EXPTIME Local, context-sensitive reachability Interprocedural dataflow involving local + global variables Pre/post-conditions Stack inspection Pushdown games Access control Mu-calculus: Intraprocedural fixpoints VP-mu: Interprocedural fixpoints

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Current work 1.Modular specifications for static analysis and security. A model-checker for C code applying ideas presented here. 2.A unified theory of visibly pushdown automata, fixpoint calculi over summaries, and quantifier logics.

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