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Connecting Higher-Order Separation Logic to a First-Order Outside World

Author(s): Mansky, William; Honoré, Wolf; Appel, Andrew W

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Abstract: Separation logic is a useful tool for proving the correctness of programs that manipulate memory, especially when the model of memory includes higher-order state: Step-indexing, predicates in the heap, and higher-order ghost state have been used to reason about function pointers, data structure invariants, and complex concurrency patterns. On the other hand, the behavior of system features (e.g., operating systems) and the external world (e.g., communication between components) is usually specified using first-order formalisms. In principle, the soundness theorem of a separation logic is its interface with first-order theorems, but the soundness theorem may implicitly make assumptions about how other components are specified, limiting its use. In this paper, we show how to extend the higher-order separation logic of the Verified Software Toolchain to interface with a first-order verified operating system, in this case CertiKOS, that mediates its interaction with the outside world. The resulting system allows us to prove the correctness of C programs in separation logic based on the semantics of system calls implemented in CertiKOS. It also demonstrates that the combination of interaction trees + CompCert memories serves well as a lingua franca to interface and compose two quite different styles of program verification.
Publication Date: 2020
Citation: Mansky, William, Wolf Honoré, and Andrew W. Appel. "Connecting Higher-Order Separation Logic to a First-Order Outside World." In European Symposium on Programming (2020): pp. 428-455. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-44914-8_16
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-44914-8_16
ISSN: 0302-9743
Pages: 428 - 455
Type of Material: Conference Article
Series/Report no.: Lecture Notes in Computer Science;
Journal/Proceeding Title: European Symposium on Programming
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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