Description of field of research

Low-level systems programming such as device driver development is tedious and error-prone. Pancake is a research programming language currently under development at Chalmers University of Technology, KTH, ANU, and UNSW. It comes with a formally verified compiler and is built from the ground up for predictable compilation and ease of verification.

The compiler correctness proofs use machine models that don't have great support for shared memory---they generally assume that programs have exclusive read and write access to their memory domain, and that reads and writes to memory are otherwise free of side effects. Device drivers interact with devices using memory-mapped I/O, which satisfies neither of these assumptions.

The aim of this project is to investigate ways of extending these machine models to incorporate support for memory-mapped I/O in a principled way, without hardcoding it to specific devices. Time allowing, this support should then be propagated upwards in the Pancake compiler stack and reflected in the semantics of the compiler IRs. This work will be carried out in the HOL4 interactive theorem prover.


Computer Science and Engineering

Research Area

Operating systems and programming languages

The Trustworthy Systems (TS) Group is the pioneer in formal (mathematical) correctness and security proofs of computer systems software. Its formally verified seL4 microkernel, now backed by the seL4 Foundation, is deployed in real-world systems ranging from defence systems via medical devices, autonomous cars to critical infrastructure. The group's vision is to make verified software the standard for security- and safety-critical systems. Core to this a focus on performance as well as making software verification more scalable and less expensive.

  1. Pull request against the HOL4 and CakeML repository with definitions and proofs.
  2. Report outlining the work undertaken.