Infoscience

Conference paper

Sound Compilation of Reals

Writing accurate numerical software is hard because of many sources of unavoidable uncertainties, including finite numerical precision of implementations. We present a programming model where the user writes a program in a real-valued implementation and specification language that explicitly includes different types of uncertainties. We then present a compilation algorithm that generates a finite-precision implementation that is guaranteed to meet the desired precision with respect to real numbers. Our compilation performs a number of verification steps for different candidate precisions. It generates verification conditions that treat all sources of uncertainties in a unified way and encode reasoning about finite-precision roundoff errors into reasoning about real numbers. Such verification conditions can be used as a standardized format for verifying the precision and the correctness of numerical programs. Due to their non-linear nature, precise reasoning about these verification conditions remains difficult and cannot be handled using state-of-the art SMT solvers alone. We therefore propose a new procedure that combines exact SMT solving over reals with approximate and sound affine and interval arithmetic. We show that this approach overcomes scalability limitations of SMT solvers while providing improved precision over affine and interval arithmetic. Our implementation gives promising results on several numerical models, including dynamical systems, transcendental functions, and controller implementations.

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