Date of Original Version
Vol. 58 of Advances in Computers, 2003. Academic Press
Abstract or Table of Contents
Symbolic model checking with Binary Decision Diagrams (BDDs) has been successfully used in the last decade for formally verifying finite state systems such as sequential circuits and protocols. Since its introduction in the beginning of the 90’s, it has been integrated in the quality assurance process of several major hardware companies. The main bottleneck of this method is that BDDs may grow exponentially, and hence the amount of available memory restricts the size of circuits that can be verified efficiently. In this article we survey a technique called Bounded Model Checking (BMC), which uses a propositional SAT solver rather than BDD manipulation techniques. Since its introduction in 1999, BMC has been well received by the industry. It can find many logical errors in complex systems that can not be handled by competing techniques, and is therefore widely perceived as a complementary technique to BDD-based model checking. This observation is supported by several independent comparisons that have been published in the last few years.