A program logic for union bounds [article]

Gilles Barthe, Marco Gaboardi, Benjamin Grégoire, Justin Hsu, Pierre-Yves Strub
2016 arXiv   pre-print
We propose a probabilistic Hoare logic aHL based on the union bound, a tool from basic probability theory. While the union bound is simple, it is an extremely common tool for analyzing randomized algorithms. In formal verification terms, the union bound allows flexible and compositional reasoning over possible ways an algorithm may go wrong. It also enables a clean separation between reasoning about probabilities and reasoning about events, which are expressed as standard first-order formulas
more » ... our logic. Notably, assertions in our logic are non-probabilistic, even though we can conclude probabilistic facts from the judgments. Our logic can also prove accuracy properties for interactive programs, where the program must produce intermediate outputs as soon as pieces of the input arrive, rather than accessing the entire input at once. This setting also enables adaptivity, where later inputs may depend on earlier intermediate outputs. We show how to prove accuracy for several examples from the differential privacy literature, both interactive and non-interactive.
arXiv:1602.05681v1 fatcat:zpih6evwfva6th7ysbqcn5pw5i