Automatic Bound Computation

The undecidability of the Halting problem is a famous result that goes back to the beginnings of computer science. The result says that there is no general method for automatically proving the termination of programs. Note, that this statement does not contradict the fact that in practice it is very well possible to prove termination for important program classes automatically. For example, it was a huge success when the first automatic tool chain was able to automatically prove the termination of Windows Device Drivers. Because drivers run in kernel mode, non-terminating drivers could cause the whole system to hang. Despite this success, termination is not a satisfying answer to most programmers who not only want to know that their programs terminate but also when! In ongoing research we are developing tools and algorithms for automatically deriving complexity bounds. Consider the following programs:

 ```x = y = n; while (x > 0 && y > 0) if(random()) x--; else y--; ``` ```x = y = n; while (x > 0 && y > 0) if(random()) x--; else { y--; x = n; } ``` ```while (n > 0) t := A[n]; while (n > 0 && t = A[n]) n--; ``` ```i := 0; while (i < n) { j := i + 1; while (j < n) { if (random()) { ConsumeResource(); j--; n--; } j++; } i++; } ```

Our tool Loopus automatically establishes that in the first and third program the complexity of the loop is O(n) and O(n2) in the second program. Moreover our tool establishes that ConsumeResource() is only called O(n) times. If you find the above described research exciting, we can offer you a variety of topics for bachelor / master theses and projects for practical course work and student jobs.

It is beneficial, if you bring the following qualities:

• programming skills
• interest in scientific work
• basic knowledge in logic and set-theory
• willingness to study state-of-the-art publications

[Contact Florian Zuleger]

Helmut Veith 1971-2016

It is with the deepest sadness that we announce Helmut Veith’s passing on March 12, 2016. Helmut was a brilliant researcher, an inspiring collaborator, a stimulating teacher, a generous friend, and a wonderful father and husband. He leaves a void that will be impossible to fill. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

CFP: Formal Reasoning in Distributed Algorithms (FRIDA’16)

Josef Widder and Igor Konnov are co-organizing the third workshop on Formal Reasoning in Distributed Algorithms. Check the workshop page.

The paper following the invited talk by Helmut Veith at PSI’15

If you wanted to know anything about model checking of fault-tolerant distributed algorithms, then check our follow-up paper after the invited talk by Helmut Veith at PSI’15.

Profil article on women in logic

A recent article in the Austrian weekly Profil about female logicians in Austria is featuring Agata Ciabattoni, Martina Seidl, Laura Kovacs, Magdalena Ortiz, Marijana Lazic, Shqiponja Ahmetaj, and Neha Lodha. All women are affiliated with the Doctoral College Logical Methods in Computer Science.

Panel discussion on research funding in Austria

Helmut Veith was a panelist in a public discussion on research funding in Austria.