On Using Results of Code-level Bounded Model Checking in Assurance

Carmen Cârlan, Daniel Ratiu and Bernhard Schätz

Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Safety, Reliability, and Security (SAFECOMP), pp. 30-42

2016 · doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-45480-1_3


Software bounded model checkers (BMC) are today powerful tools to perform verification at unit level, but are not used at their potential in the safety critical context. One reason for this is that model checkers often provide only incomplete results when used on real code due to restrictions placed on the environment of the system in order to facilitate the verification. In order to use these results as evidence in an assurance case, one needs to characterize the incompleteness and mitigate the assurance deficits. In this paper we present an assurance case pattern which addresses the disciplined use of successful but possibly incomplete verification results obtained through C-level bounded model checking as evidence in certification. We propose a strategy to express the confidence in incomplete verification results by complementing them with classical testing, and to mitigate the assurance deficits with additional tests. We present our preliminary experience with using the CBMC model checker and the mbeddr environment to verify three safety-critical software components.

subject terms: Model-based Systems Engineering, MbSE