Recursive Data Structures in SPARK
SPARK is both a deductive verification tool for the Ada language and the subset of Ada on which it operates. In this paper, we present a recent extension of the SPARK language and toolset to support pointers. This extension is based on an ownership policy inspired by Rust to enforce non-aliasing through a move semantics of assignment. In particular, we consider pointer-based recursive data structures, and discuss how they are supported in SPARK. We explain how iteration over these structures can be handled using a restricted form of aliasing called local borrowing. To avoid introducing a memory model and to stay in the first-order logic background of SPARK, the relation between the iterator and the underlying structure is encoded as a predicate which is maintained throughout the program control flow. Special first-order contracts, called pledges, can be used to describe this relation. Finally, we give examples of programs that can be verified using this framework.
Posted on: 11/5/2020