Symbolic Model Checking of Software Product Lines

Andreas Classen, Patrick Heymans, Pierre-Yves Schobbens, and Axel Legay
University of Namur, Belgium; IRISA/INRIA Rennes, France and University of Liè€ge, Belgium

We study the problem of model checking software product line (SPL) behaviours against temporal properties. This is more difficult than for single systems because an SPL with n features yields up to 2n individual systems to verify. As each individual verification suffers from state explosion, it is crucial to propose efficient formalisms and heuristics.

We recently proposed featured transition systems (FTS), a compact representation for SPL behaviour, and defined algorithms for model checking FTS against linear temporal properties. Although they showed to outperform individual system verifications, they still face a state explosion problem as they enumerate and visit system states one by one.

In this paper, we tackle this latter problem by using symbolic representations of the state space. This lead us to consider computation tree logic (CTL) which is supported by the industry-strength symbolic model checker NuSMV. We first lay the foundations for symbolic SPL model checking by defining a feature-oriented version of CTL and its dedicated algorithms. We then describe an implementation that adapts the NuSMV language and tool infrastructure. Finally, we propose theoretical and empirical evaluations of our results. The benchmarks show that for certain properties, our algorithm is over a hundred times faster than model checking each system with the standard algorithm.