Cluster-based partial-order reduction

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The verification of concurrent systems through an exhaustive traversal of the state space suffers from the infamous state-space-explosion problem, caused by the many interleavings of actions of different processes in the system. Partial-order reduction is a well-known technique to tackle this problem. In this paper, we present an enhancement of the partial-order-reduction scheme of Holzmann and Peled that uses the hierarchical structure of concurrent systems. Our technique tries to contain dependencies between actions within clusters of processes, capitalizing on the independence of actions in different clusters to reduce the state space to be verified while preserving properties of interest. The paper starts with a formalization of the partial-order-reduction technique and continues with a presentation of our enhanced technique, including a correctness argument. The new technique has been implemented in the verification tool SPIN. We present implementation details, some small experiments, and one larger case study using a cache coherency protocol. The experimental results are encouraging. Compared to standard partial-order reduction, improvements in reductions are obtained from 21% up to 98% in the number of states and 34% up to 99% in the number of state transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-402
Number of pages38
JournalAutomated Software Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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