Publication details

Saarland University Computer Science

A Verified Compiler for a Linear Function/Imperative Intermediate Language

Sigurd Schneider

PhD Thesis, Saarland University, April 2018

This thesis describes the design of the verified compiler LVC. LVC's main novelty is the way its first-order, term-based intermediate language IL realizes the advantages of static single assignment (SSA) for verified compilation. IL is a term-based language not based on a control-flow graph (CFG) but defined in terms of an inductively defined syntax with lexically scoped mutually recursive function definitions. IL replaces the usual dominance-based SSA definition found in unverified and verified compilers with the novel notion of coherence. The main research question this thesis studies is whether IL with coherence offers a faithful implementation of SSA, and how the design influences the correctness invariants and the proofs in the verified compiler LVC. To study this question, we verify dead code elimination, several SSA-based value optimizations including sparse conditional constant propagation and SSA-based register allocation approach including spilling. In these case studies, IL with coherence provides the usual advantages of SSA and improves modularity of proofs. Furthermore, we propose a novel SSA construction algorithm based on coherence, and leverage the term structure of IL to obtain an inductive proof method for simulation proofs. LVC is implemented and verified with over 50,000 lines of code using the proof assistant Coq. To underline practicability of our approach, we integrate LVC with CompCert to obtain an executable compiler that generates PowerPC assembly code.

Coq Development

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