Verifying C11-Style Weak Memory Libraries via Refinement

Sadegh Dalvandi, Brijesh Dongol
Abstract: Deductive verification of concurrent programs under weak memory has thus far been limited to simple programs over a monolithic state space. For scalability, we also require modular techniques with verifiable library abstractions. This paper addresses this challenge in the context of RC11 RAR, a subset of the C11 memory model that admits relaxed and release-acquire accesses, but disallows, so-called, load-buffering cycles. We develop a simple framework for specifying abstract objects that precisely characterises the observability guarantees of abstract method calls. We show how this framework can be integrated with an operational semantics that enables verification of client programs that execute abstract method calls from a library they use. Finally, we show how implementations of such abstractions in RC11 RAR can be verified by developing a (contextual) refinement framework for abstract objects. Our framework, including the operational semantics, verification technique for client-library programs, and simulation between abstract libraries and their implementations, has been mechanised in Isabelle/HOL.

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