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Improvements in timed automata model checking technology

The basic cycle of TA verification tools consists of taking a zone (a conjunction of difference constraints on clocks) and applying to it some operations in order to produce its successors on which the same process is iterated.

The number of these zones and the size of their representations is a major bottleneck for TA verification. Zones are typically represented as difference bounds matrices (DBMs) of size quadratic in the number of clocks, and it has already been known that their dimensionality can be reduced in each state to the number of clocks active in that state.

More recent work in AMETIST shows that performing a finer analysis of the structure of the TA, may yield for some states DBM representations which can be as good as linear in the number of clocks.

Among the other important contributions to improving performance of TA tools we mentioned ideas inspired by partial order methods, symmetry reduction, and more clever memory management during exploration.

By implementing these new ideas, the project succeeded to improve the performance of UPPAAL by several orders of magnitude.

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