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Boosting Verification by Automatic Tuning of Decision Procedures

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Parameterized heuristics abound in computer aided-design and verification, and manual tuning of the respective parameters is difficult and time-consuming. Very recent results from the artificial intelligence (AI) community suggest that this tuning process can be automated, and that doing so can lead to significant performance improvements; furthermore, automated parameter optimization can provide valuable guidance during the development of heuristic algorithms. Such an AI approach can improve a state-of-the-art SAT solver for large, real-world bounded model-checking and software verification instances. The resulting, automatically-derived parameter settings yielded runtimes on average 4.5 times faster on bounded model checking instances and 500 times faster on software verification problems than extensive hand-tuning of the decision procedure. Furthermore, the availability of automatic tuning influenced the design of the solver, and the automatically-derived parameter settings provided a deeper insight into the properties of problem instances.

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This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Automated Reasoning Group Lunches series.

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