One-Path Reachability Logic

Grigore Rosu and Andrei Stefanescu and Stefan Ciobaca and Brandon Moore
LICS'13 IEEE, pp 358-367, June 2013
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Abstract. This paper introduces *reachability logic*, a language-independent proof system for program verification, which takes an operational semantics as axioms and derives *reachability rules*, which generalize Hoare triples. This system improves on previous work by allowing operational semantics given with *conditional* rewrite rules, which are known to support all major styles of operational semantics. In particular, Kahn's big-step and Plotkin's small-step semantic styles are newly supported. The reachability logic proof system is shown sound (i.e., partially correct) and (relatively) complete. Reachability logic thus eliminates the need to independently define an axiomatic and an operational semantics for each language, and the non-negligible effort to prove the former sound and complete w.r.t. the latter. The soundness result has also been formalized in Coq, allowing reachability logic derivations to serve as formal proof certificates that rely only on the operational semantics.