Abstract

We consider the problem of typestate verification for shallow programs; i.e., programs where pointers from program variables to heap-allocated objects are allowed, but where heap-allocated objects may not themselves contain pointers. We prove a number of results relating the complexity of verification to the nature of the finite state machine used to specify the property. Some properties are shown to be intractable, but others which appear to be quite similar admit polynomial-time verification algorithms. Our results serve to provide insight into the inherent complexity of important classes of verification problems. In addition, the program abstractions used for the polynomial-time verification algorithms may be of independent interest.