Abstract

In this paper, we show how separation (decomposing a verification problem into a collection of verification sub problems) can be used to improve the efficiency and precision of verification of safety properties. We present a simple language for specifying separation strategies for decomposing a single verification problem into a set of sub problems. (The strategy specification is distinct from the safety property specification and is specified separately.) We present a general framework of heterogeneous abstraction that allows different parts of the heap to be abstracted using different degrees of precision at different points during the analysis. We show how the goals of separation (i.e., more efficient verification) can be realized by first using a separation strategy to transform (instrument) a verification problem instance (consisting of a safety property specification and an input program), and by then utilizing heterogeneous abstraction during the verification of the transformed verification problem.