Maximal causality reduction for TSO and PSO Conference Paper uri icon


  • © 2016 ACM. Verifying concurrent programs is challenging due to the exponentially large thread interleaving space. The problem is exacerbated by relaxed memory models such as Total Store Order (TSO) and Partial Store Order (PSO) which further explode the interleaving space by reordering instructions. A recent advance, Maximal Causality Reduction (MCR), has shown great promise to improve verification effectiveness by maximally reducing redundant explorations. However, the original MCR only works for the Sequential Consistency (SC) memory model, but not for TSO and PSO. In this paper, we develop novel extensions to MCR by solving two key problems under TSO and PSO: 1) generating interleavings that can reach new states by encoding the operational semantics of TSO and PSO with first-order logical constraints and solving them with SMT solvers, and 2) enforcing TSO and PSO interleavings by developing novel replay algorithms that allow executions out of the program order. We show that our approach successfully enables MCR to effectively explore TSO and PSO interleavings.We have compared our approach with a recent Dynamic Partial Order Reduction (DPOR) algorithm for TSO and PSO and a SAT-based stateless model checking approach. Our results show that our approach is much more effective than the other approaches for both statespace exploration and bug finding - on average it explores 5-10X fewer executions and finds many bugs that the other tools cannot find.

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, S., & Huang, J.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • December 2016