Technical Reports

Marius Bozga and Radu Iosif
Deciding Safety and Termination Properties for Flat Programs with Lists (2006)

Keywords: programs with lists, integer arithmetic

Abstract: In this paper we analyze the complexity of checking safety and termination properties, for a very simple, yet non-trivial, class of programs with singly-linked list data structures. Since, in general, programs with lists are known to have the power of Turing machines, we restrict the control structure, by forbidding nested loops and destructive updates. Surprisingly, even with these simplifying conditions, programs working on heaps with more than one cycle are undecidable, whereas decidability can be established when the input heap may have at most one loop. The proofs for both the undecidability and the decidability results rely on non-trivial number-theoretic results.

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