An Automata-Theoretic Dynamic Completeness Criterion for Bounded Model-Checking
Bounded model-checking is a technique for finding bugs in very large designs. Bounded model-checking by itself is incomplete: it can find bugs, but it cannot prove that a system satisfies a specification. A dynamic completeness criterion can allow bounded model-checking to prove properties. A dynamic completeness criterion typically searches for a “beginning” of a bug or bad behavior; if no such “beginning” can be found, we can conclude that no bug exists, and bounded model-checking can terminate. Dynamic completeness criteria have been suggested for several temporal logics, but most are tied to a specific bounded model-checking encoding, and the ones that are not are based on nondeterministic Büchi automata. In this paper we develop a theoretic framework for dynamic completeness criteria based on alternating Büchi automata. Our criterion generalizes and explains several existing dynamic completeness criteria, and is suitable for both linear-time and universal branching-time logic. We show that using alternating automata rather than nondeterministic automata can lead to much smaller completeness thresholds.