3 Papers accepted at ISoLA'20: "An Interface Theory for Program Verification", "Verification Artifacts in Cooperative Verification", and "Violation Witnesses and Result Validation for Multi-Threaded Programs"

Thomas Lemberger

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Software and Computational Systems Lab
Institute for Informatics
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich)
Oettingenstraße 67
80538 Munich (Germany)

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Thesis Mentoring

Available topics
Topics on automatic program repair

Debugging software usually consists of three steps: 1. finding an error in the program, 2. finding the cause for that error (the fault), and 3. fixing that fault. By default, fixing the fault is done manually by a programmer, which often consumes vast amount of resources and may introduce new bugs. To ease that task, this topic is concerned with automatic program repair. After finding a potential fault in a program, automatic program repair proposes fixes and often checks the validity of these fixes. The goal is to implement and evaluate a technique for automatic program repair in C programs in the state-of-the-art verification framework CPAchecker. The complexity of the technique and the scope of the topic is based on the thesis type (project, bachelor or master). Programming is done in Java.

Topics on Symbolic Execution [1]

Program testing is an established technique in modern software development, but it is, in most cases, not able to cover all potential program paths. In practice, even incomplete coverage goals like branch coverage are not always fulfilled by hand-written tests. Thus, bugs may go unnoticed. In contrast to this, symbolic execution is a program analysis technique that is able to exhaustively analyze a program by executing a program with symbolic inputs instead of concrete ones. During this symbolic execution, constraints on the symbolic inputs are recorded. These constraints show relations between inputs and can be used to create a test suite that fully meets a given coverage goal.

Theses in this topic are concerned with implementing heuristics or improvements to an existing symbolic execution engine in CPAchecker (implemented in Java).

LLVM Compiler Optimizations for Code Analysis [1, 2]

Experimental evaluation of the effect of compiler optimizations and automatic code transformations of LLVM on formal verification.

Finding causes for bugs in programs [1]

There are many different ways to find out whether a program is buggy, for example testing or formal verification. Once we know that a program is buggy, i.e., that it shows some faulty behavior, a developer has to manually debug the program to find the cause of the problem and fix it - this is a difficult and long-taking process. The aim of this thesis is to help programmers with debugging by implementing one such technique to automatically find potential causes for faulty behavior and present the found causes.

Currently assigned topics
Configurable code-block summarization with formulas
Array-abstraction by program translation
Converting Test Goals to Condition Automata [1, 2]

Conditional Model Checking and Conditional Testing are two techniques for the combination of respective verification tools. Conditional Testing describes work done through a set of covered test goals and Conditional Model Checking describes work done through condition automata. Because of this discrepancy, the two techniques can not be combined. To bridge this gap, this thesis transforms a set of test goals into a condition automaton to allow easy cooperation between Conditional Testing and Conditional Model Checking.

Finished topics
Conversion of counterexamples found by software verifiers into an executable test harness that exposes the bug in the program (prototype exists)
Application of Software Verification to OpenBSD Network Modules
Hybrid Testcase Generation with CPAchecker
A Web Frontend For Visualization of Computation Steps and their Results in CPAchecker [1]
Fault Localization in Model Checking. Implementation and Evaluation of Fault-Localization Techniques with Distance Metrics [1]

There are many different ways to find out whether a program is buggy, for example testing or formal verification. Once we know that a program is buggy, i.e., that it shows some faulty behavior, a developer has to manually debug the program to find the cause of the problem and fix it - this is a difficult and long-taking process. The aim of this thesis is to help programmers with debugging through the use of distance metrics (cf. Explaining Abstract Counterexamples, 2004).

Fault Localization for Formal Verification. An Implementation and Evaluation of Algorithms based on Error Invariants and UNSAT-cores [1]

There are many different ways to find out whether a program is buggy, for example testing or formal verification. Once we know that a program is buggy, i.e., that it shows some faulty behavior, a developer has to manually debug the program to find the cause of the problem and fix it - this is a difficult and long-taking process. The aim of this thesis is to help programmers with debugging by implementing Error Invariants and bug-finding with unsat cores, techniques for bug-finding based on boolean representations of the faulty program, to (1) automatically find potential causes for faulty behavior and (2) present the found causes.

Test-based Fault Localization in the Context of Formal Verification: Implementation and Evaluation of the Tarantula Algorithm in CPAchecker [1]

There are many different ways to find out whether a program is buggy, for example testing or formal verification. Once we know that a program is buggy, i.e., that it shows some faulty behavior, a developer has to manually debug the program to find the cause of the problem and fix it - this is a difficult and long-taking process. The aim of this thesis is to help programmers with debugging by implementing Tarantula, a technique for bug-finding based on test coverage, to (1) automatically find potential causes for faulty behavior and (2) present the found causes.

A Language Server and IDE Plugin for CPAchecker [1]

At the moment, there are two ways to use CPAchecker: Locally through the command-line, and in the cloud through a web interface. Both options require C developers to leave their IDE everytime they want to run CPAchecker, which disrupts their workflow. The goal of this project is to build an IDE plugin that provides a seamless experience of using CPAchecker (e.g., for Eclipse CDT, VisualStudio Code or mbeddr). We would like the plugin to focus on ease of use and immediate feedback that is easy to comprehend. The plugin should:

  1. allow developers to run CPAchecker on their current project,
  2. provide some options for customization (e.g., whether to run CPAchecker locally or in the cloud), and
  3. provide useful feedback (e.g., if a possibly failing assert-Statement was found by CPAchecker)

A code-complexity analysis on the component level on the example of CPAchecker [1]

If you're a student interested in writing your thesis at our chair, you should also have a look at our full list of currently available theses.

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