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Fencing off go: liveness and safety for channel-based programming

Lange, Julien, Ng, Nicholas, Toninho, Bernardo, Yoshida, Nobuko (2017) Fencing off go: liveness and safety for channel-based programming. In: Castagna, Giuseppe and Gordon, Andrew D., eds. Proceedings of the 44th ACM SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages. . pp. 748-761. ACM ISBN 978-1-4503-4660-3. (doi:10.1145/3009837.3009847)

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Go is a production-level statically typed programming language whose design features explicit message-passing primitives and lightweight threads, enabling (and encouraging) programmers to develop concurrent systems where components interact through communication more so than by lock-based shared memory concurrency. Go can only detect global deadlocks at runtime, but provides no compile-time protection against all too common communication mismatches or partial deadlocks. This work develops a static verification framework for bounded liveness and safety in Go programs, able to detect communication errors and partial deadlocks in a general class of realistic concurrent programs, including those with dynamic channel creation and infinite recursion. Our approach infers from a Go program a faithful representation of its communication patterns as a behavioural type. By checking a syntactic restriction on channel usage, dubbed fencing, we ensure that programs are made up of finitely many different communication patterns that may be repeated infinitely many times. This restriction allows us to implement bounded verification procedures (akin to bounded model checking) to check for liveness and safety in types which in turn approximates liveness and safety in Go programs. We have implemented a type inference and liveness and safety checks in a tool-chain and tested it against publicly available Go programs.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Proceeding)
DOI/Identification number: 10.1145/3009837.3009847
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing
Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing > Programming Languages and Systems Group
Depositing User: Julien Lange
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2017 10:11 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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