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Taming an Authoritative Armv8 ISA Specification: L3 Validation and CakeML Compiler Verification

Kanabar, Hrutvik, Fox, Anthony C. J., Myreen, Magnus O. (2022) Taming an Authoritative Armv8 ISA Specification: L3 Validation and CakeML Compiler Verification. In: Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs). 13th International Conference on Interactive Theorem Proving (ITP 2022). 237. 20:1-20:22. Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik ISBN 978-3-95977-252-5. (doi:10.4230/LIPIcs.ITP.2022.20) (KAR id:102663)


Machine-readable specifications for the Armv8 instruction set architecture have become publicly available as part of Arm’s release processes, providing an official and unambiguous source of truth for the semantics of Arm instructions. To date, compiler and machine code verification efforts have made use of unofficial theorem-proving-friendly specifications of Armv8, e.g. CakeML uses an L3-based specification. The validity of these verification efforts hinges upon their unofficial ISA specifications being valid with respect to the official Arm specification.

Leveraging the Sail language ecosystem, we bridge this validation gap by formally verifying that an L3-based specification simulates the official Arm specification using the HOL4 interactive theorem prover. We exercise this simulation by proving a novel compiler correctness result for CakeML with respect to Arm’s official specification of the Armv8.6 A-class instruction set.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
DOI/Identification number: 10.4230/LIPIcs.ITP.2022.20
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Hrutvik Kanabar
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2023 17:43 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 16:08 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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