Using Decision Diagrams to Compactly Represent the State Space for Explicit Model Checking

Hao Zheng, Andrew Price, Chris Myers

The enormous number of states reachable during explicit model checking is the main bottleneck for scalability. This paper presents approaches of using decision diagrams to represent very large state space compactly and efficiently. This is possible for asynchronous systems as two system states connected by a transition often share many same local portions. Using decision diagrams can significantly reduce memory demand by not using memory to store the redundant information among different states. This paper considers multi-value decision diagrams for this purpose. Additionally, a technique to reduce the runtime overhead of using these diagrams is also described. Experimental results and comparison with the state compression method as implemented in the model checker SPIN show that the approaches presented in this paper are memory efficient for storing large state space with acceptable runtime overhead.

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