Will My Program Break on This Faulty Processor?. Formal Analysis of Hardware Fault Activations in Concurrent Embedded Software. Bajczi, L., Vörös, A., & Molnár, V. ACM TRANSACTIONS ON EMBEDDED COMPUTING SYSTEMS, 2019.
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Formal verification is approaching a point where it will be reliably applicable to embedded software. Even though formal verification can efficiently analyze multi-threaded applications, multi-core processors are often considered too dangerous to use in critical systems, despite the many benefits they can offer. One reason is the advanced memory consistency model of such CPUs. Nowadays, most software verifiers assume strict sequential consistency, which is also the naïve view of programmers. Modern multi-core processors, however, rarely guarantee this assumption by default. In addition, complex processor architectures may easily contain design faults. Thanks to the recent advances in hardware verification, these faults are increasingly visible and can be detected even in existing processors, giving an opportunity to compensate for the problem in software. In this paper, we propose a generic approach to consider inconsistent behavior of the hardware in the analysis of software. Our approach is based on formal methods and can be used to detect the activation of existing hardware faults on the application level and facilitate their mitigation in software. The approach relies heavily on recent results of model checking and hardware verification and offers new, integrative research directions. We propose a partial solution based on existing model checking tools to demonstrate feasibility and evaluate their performance in this context.

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