Precision reuse for efficient regression verification.
Continuous testing during development is a well-established technique for software-quality assurance. Continuous model checking from revision to revision is not yet established as a standard practice, because the enormous resource consumption makes its application impractical. Model checkers compute a large number of verification facts that are necessary for verifying if a given specification holds. We have identified a category of such intermediate results that are easy to store and efficient to reuse: abstraction precisions. The precision of an abstract domain specifies the level of abstraction that the analysis works on. Precisions are thus a precious result of the verification effort and it is a waste of resources to throw them away after each verification run. In particular, precisions are reasonably small and thus easy to store; they are easy to process and have a large impact on resource consumption. We experimentally show the impact of precision reuse on industrial verification problems created from 62 Linux kernel device drivers with 1119 revisions.
Proceedings of the 9th Joint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 2013), editors B. Meyer, L. Baresi, M. Mezini, pages 389–399. ACM, New York, 2013.