Deciding local theory extensions via E-matching

Kshitij Bansal, Andrew Reynolds, Tim King, Clark Barrett, Thomas Wies

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


Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT) solvers incorporate decision procedures for theories of data types that commonly occur in software. This makes them important tools for automating verification problems. A limitation frequently encountered is that verification problems are often not fully expressible in the theories supported natively by the solvers. Many solvers allow the specification of application-specific theories as quantified axioms, but their handling is incomplete outside of narrow special cases. In this work, we show how SMT solvers can be used to obtain complete decision procedures for local theory extensions, an important class of theories that are decidable using finite instantiation of axioms. We present an algorithm that uses E-matching to generate instances incrementally during the search, significantly reducing the number of generated instances compared to eager instantiation strategies. We have used two SMT solvers to implement this algorithm and conducted an extensive experimental evaluation on benchmarks derived from verification conditions for heap-manipulating programs. We believe that our results are of interest to both the users of SMT solvers as well as their developers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Aided Verification - 27th International Conference, CAV 2015, Proceedings
EditorsCorina S. Păsăreanu, Daniel Kroening
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783319216676
StatePublished - 2015
Event27th International Conference on Computer Aided Verification, CAV 2015 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jul 18 2015Jul 24 2015

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


Other27th International Conference on Computer Aided Verification, CAV 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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