February 25th 2023

Maria Christakis receives an ERC Starting Grant

We are proud to announce that CPEC PI Maria Christakis has received an ERC starting grant:

MirandaTesting: Testing Program Analyzers Ad Absurdum

Program analyzers act as guards for ensuring reliability of modern-day software. But who guards the guards themselves? Due to their high complexity and sophisticated algorithms, analyzers are likely to contain critical bugs, which we define as those leading to wrong results, e.g., returning ‘correct’ for incorrect software. Such bugs may have detrimental consequences, especially in safety-critical settings. It is, therefore, imperative to be able to detect them.

Verifying the absence of critical bugs in a program analyzer is prohibitively expensive. Contrary to verification, automated test generation can be used to effectively find such bugs. Existing testing approaches, however, are still in their infancy for this application domain.

To address this issue, MirandaTesting will develop the first principled methodology for testing a wide range of program analyzers. As a result, analyzers will exhibit fewer critical bugs, potentially preventing catastrophic outcomes in safety-critical domains.

This starting grant complements her work in project C6, where she researches methods for Fast, Safe, and Perspicuous Run-Time Planning in cooperation with PIs Jörg Hoffmann and Isabel Valera.