Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Daniel J. Dougherty, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Joshua Guttman, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

George Heineman, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

John D. Ramsdell, Committee Member

Identifier

etd-043015-110044

Abstract

This thesis presents a framework for understanding first-order theories by investigating their models. A common application is to help users, who are not necessarily experts in formal methods, analyze software artifacts, such as access-control policies, system configurations, protocol specifications, and software designs. The framework suggests a strategy for exploring the space of finite models of a theory via augmentation. Also, it introduces a notion of provenance information for understanding the elements and facts in models with respect to the statements of the theory. The primary mathematical tool is an information-preserving preorder, induced by the homomorphism on models, defining paths along which models are explored. The central algorithmic ideas consists of a controlled construction of the Herbrand base of the input theory followed by utilizing SMT-solving for generating models that are minimal under the homomorphism preorder. Our framework for model-exploration is realized in Razor, a model-finding assistant that provides the user with a read-eval-print loop for investigating models.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Computer Science

Project Type

Dissertation

Date Accepted

2015-04-30

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

exploration, finite model-finding, first-order logic, provenance information, Chase, Geometric Logic, Razor, Aluminum

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