Checking satisfiability of first-order formulas by incremental translation to SAT

Clark W. Barrett, David L. Dill, Aaron Stump

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In the past few years, general-purpose propositional satisfiability (SAT) solvers have improved dramatically in performance and have been used to tackle many new problems.It has also been shown that certain simple fragments of first-order logic can be decided efficiently by first translating the problem into an equivalent SAT problem and then using a fast SAT solver.In this paper, we describe an alternative but similar approach to using SAT in conjunction with a more expressive fragment of first-order logic.H owever, rather than translating the entire formula up front, the formula is incrementally translated during a search for the solution.A s a result, only that portion of the translation that is actually relevant to the solution is obtained.We describe a number of obstacles that had to be overcome before developing an approach which was ultimately very effective, and give results on verification benchmarks using CVC (Cooperating Validity Checker), which includes the Chaff SAT solver.Th e results show a performance gain of several orders of magnitude over CVC without Chaff and indicate that the method is more robust than the heuristics found in CVC’s predecessor, SVC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Aided Verification - 14th International Conference, CAV 2002, Proceedings
EditorsEd Brinksma, Kim Guldstrand Larsen
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783540439974
StatePublished - 2002
Event14th International Conference on Computer Aided Verification, CAV 2002 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: Jul 27 2002Jul 31 2002

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other14th International Conference on Computer Aided Verification, CAV 2002


  • Decision Procedures
  • First-Order Logic
  • Propositional Satisfiability
  • Satisfiability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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