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Automated Reasoning with Theories and Induction for Software Technology

Project description

A mathematical approach for reliable software engineering

Software technologies are used everywhere nowadays, but they are still prone to errors and burden digital society, organisations and industries. Reliability is therefore an urgent necessity in this field. The EU-funded ARTIST project will create an alternative, math-based approach to solve challenges of software failures. The project aims to achieve this through a high-gain/high-risk approach based on first-order theorem proving to both prove and generate software properties that imply the absence of program errors at intermediate program steps. Extended with datatype-specific reasoning, the project results will bring software-supported methods and automated tools to prove correctness, safety and security of other software systems.


The long list of software failures over the past years calls for serious concerns in our digital society, creating bad reputation and adding huge economic burden on organizations, industries and governments. Improving software reliability is no more enough, ensuring software reliability is mandatory. Our project complements other advances in the area and addresses this demand by turning first-order theorem proving into an alternative, yet powerful approach to ensuring software reliability,

Saturation-based proof search is the leading technology for automated first-order theorem proving. The high-gain/high-risk aspect of our project comes from the development and use of saturation-based theorem proving as a unifying framework to reason about software technologies. We use first-order theorem proving methods not only to prove, but also to generate software properties that imply the absence of program errors at intermediate program steps.

Generating and proving program properties call for new methods supporting reasoning with both theories and quantifiers. Our project extends saturation-based first-order theorem provers with domain-specific inference rules to keep reasoning efficient. This includes commonly used theories in software development, such as the theories of integers, arrays and inductively defined data types, and automation of induction within saturation-based theorem proving, contributing to the ultimate goal of generating and proving inductive software properties, such as invariants.

Thanks to the full automation of our project, our results can be integrated and used in other frameworks, to allow end-users and developers of software technologies to gain from theorem proving without the need of becoming experts of it.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 2 000 000,00
1040 Wien

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Ostösterreich Wien Wien
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 2 000 000,00

Beneficiaries (1)