A Deductive Verification Infrastructure for Probabilistic Programs

Published on Sep 14, 2023


This paper presents a quantitative program verification infrastructure for discrete probabilistic programs. Our infrastructure can be viewed as the probabilistic analogue of Boogie: its central components are an intermediate verification language (IVL) together with a real-valued logic. Our IVL provides a programming-language-style for expressing verification conditions whose validity implies the correctness of a program under investigation. As our focus is on verifying quantitative properties such as bounds on expected outcomes, expected run-times, or termination probabilities, off-the-shelf IVLs based on Boolean first-order logic do not suffice. Instead, a paradigm shift from the standard Boolean to a real-valued domain is required. Our IVL features quantitative generalizations of standard verification constructs such as assume- and assert-statements. Verification conditions are generated by a weakest-precondition-style semantics, based on our real-valued logic. We show that our verification infrastructure supports natural encodings of numerous verification techniques from the literature. With our SMT-based implementation, we automatically verify a variety of benchmarks. To the best of our knowledge, this establishes the first deductive verification infrastructure for expectation-based reasoning about probabilistic programs.


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