A Short Counterexample Property for Safety and Liveness Verification of Fault-tolerant Distributed Algorithms [article]

Igor Konnov, Marijana Lazic, Helmut Veith, Josef Widder
2016 arXiv   pre-print
Distributed algorithms have many mission-critical applications ranging from embedded systems and replicated databases to cloud computing. Due to asynchronous communication, process faults, or network failures, these algorithms are difficult to design and verify. Many algorithms achieve fault tolerance by using threshold guards that, for instance, ensure that a process waits until it has received an acknowledgment from a majority of its peers. Consequently, domain-specific languages for
more » ... erant distributed systems offer language support for threshold guards. We introduce an automated method for model checking of safety and liveness of threshold-guarded distributed algorithms in systems where the number of processes and the fraction of faulty processes are parameters. Our method is based on a short counterexample property: if a distributed algorithm violates a temporal specification (in a fragment of LTL), then there is a counterexample whose length is bounded and independent of the parameters. We prove this property by (i) characterizing executions depending on the structure of the temporal formula, and (ii) using commutativity of transitions to accelerate and shorten executions. We extended the ByMC toolset (Byzantine Model Checker) with our technique, and verified liveness and safety of 10 prominent fault-tolerant distributed algorithms, most of which were out of reach for existing techniques.
arXiv:1608.05327v1 fatcat:p7ozlf7ymvenxasck3x3pxpk2m