In this paper we show that checking satisfiability of a set of non-linear Horn clauses (also called a non-linear Horn clause program) can be achieved using a solver for linear Horn clauses. We achieve this by interleaving a program transformation with a satisfiability checker for linear Horn clauses (also called a solver for linear Horn clauses). The program transformation is based on the notion of tree dimension, which we apply to a set of non-linear clauses, yielding a set whose derivation trees have bounded dimension. Such a set of clauses can be linearised. The main algorithm then proceeds by applying the linearisation transformation and solver for linear Horn clauses to a sequence of sets of clauses with successively increasing dimension bound. The approach is then further developed by using a solution of clauses of lower dimension to (partially) linearise clauses of higher dimension. We constructed a prototype implementation of this approach and performed some experiments on a set of verification problems, which shows some promise.
Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science, 2016, Vol 219, p. 33-48
Program analysis; Program verification; Horn clauses
Main Research Area:
3rd Workshop on Horn Clauses for Verification and Synthesis, 2016