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Domains, Uninterpreted Functions, and Axioms

domain blocks are used to create user-defined types and uninterpreted functions. A domain has a name which can be used as a type in HeyVL code. The domain block contains a list of functions and axioms defined on this domain.

Every domain type supports the binary operators == and !=. All other operations must be encoded using functions and axioms.

Example: Exponentials of ½

HeyVL does not support exponentiation expressions natively. But we can define an uninterpreted function ohfive_exp and add axioms that specify its result. ohfive_exp(n) should evaluate to (½)ⁿ, so we add two axioms that define this exponential recursively.

ohfive_exp_base states that ohfive_exp(0) == 1 and ohfive_exp_step ensures that ohfive_exp(exponent + 1) == 0.5 * ohfive_exp(exponent) holds. This is sufficient to axiomatize our exponential function.

domain Exponentials {
func ohfive_exp(exponent: UInt): EUReal

axiom ohfive_exp_base ohfive_exp(0) == 1
axiom ohfive_exp_step forall exponent: UInt. ohfive_exp(exponent + 1) == 0.5 * ohfive_exp(exponent)

Note that this domain declaration creates a new type Exponentials, but we do not use it.

We can check that ohfive_exp(3) evaluates to 0.125 by declaring a procedure with pre-condition true and post-condition ohfive_exp(3) == 0.125. This procedure verifies:

proc ohfive_3() -> ()
pre ?(true)
post ?(ohfive_exp(3) == 0.125)

Do not forget the empty block of statements {} at the end! If you omit it, Caesar will not attempt to verify the procedure and thus will not check the specification.

Pure Functions

You can also declare pure or interpreted functions. These are defined by a single expression that computes the result of the function.

The following function declaration has a such a definition (= x + 1):

func plus_one(x: UInt): UInt = x + 1

This syntax is just syntactic sugar for a function declaration with an additional axiom, i.e.

func plus_one(x: UInt): UInt
axiom plus_one_def forall x: UInt. plus_one(x) == x + 1

Unsoundness From Axioms

Axioms are a dangerous feature because they can make verification unsound.

An easy example is this one:

domain Unsound {
axiom unsound false

proc wrong() -> ()
pre ?(true)
post ?(true)
assert ?(false)

The axiom unsound always evaluates to false. But for verification, Caesar assumes the axioms hold for all program states. In other words, Caesar only verifies the program states in which the axioms evaluate to true. Thus, Caesar does not verify any program state and the procedure wrong incorrectly verifies!