Prototype Implementation of Rely-Guarantee References as a Coq DSL
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Rely-Guarantee References for Program Verification

This repository contains the source code for RGref, a shallow Coq embedding of the rely-guarantee reference approach to program verification. The core ideas of the approach are to associate a rely relation and a guarantee relation with each reference. The guarantee limits the actions (side effects) that may be performed using that reference, and thus generalizes a family of type systems called reference immutability, where a mutability restriction is associated with each reference. The rely summarizes the guarantees of all possible aliases.

These relations grant us two useful things:

  1. The guarantee provides fine-grained control over what mutation a function may perform on its arguments.
  2. The rely permits us to add to a reference a refinement predicate (logical formula) that must hold of a reference's referent. If a predicate is preserved by the rely relation (i.e. if it is true in one state, and there is another state related to the first by the rely relation, then it is true in the second state as well), then it is safe to assume that predicate holds in general because the actions possible through any other alias are subsumed by the rely.

This is not the primary documentation; see our PLDI'13 paper, ``Rely-Guarantee References for Refinement Types Over Aliased Mutable Data'' or our technical report of the same name for more information.


Building this development requires Coq 8.4. For the first build, run Subsequent builds should work fine just running make. If you add a file, add it to the list of .v files in, and rerun that script.

It should be possible to make it work under Coq 8.3 with a small amount of effort. The initial development was done under 8.3, until I discovered that 8.4's typeclass resolution mechanism automatically finds many typeclass instances I had to provide manually in 8.3.

ProofGeneral Configuration

Because the development is split across multiple files and uses impredicative Set, ProofGeneral requires a bit of additional configuration. I use the following in my .emacs in addition to loading the ProofGeneral scripts:

 '(coq-prog-args (quote ("-R" "RGref" "RGref" "-impredicative-set" "-I" "/path/to/rgref/checkout")))
 '(coq-load-path (quote ("/path/to/rgref/checkout")))


The source files use Unicode characters (e.g. \tau, \Gamma), so your editor must support them. On Windows, Emacs occasionally opens a file with the incorrect encoding, which can be fixed with

M-x revert-buffer-with-coding-system UTF-8


This code is licensed under Matt Might's aptly-named CRAPL. The license is provided in CRAPL-LICENSE.txt in this repository. For more information on the CRAPL, see Matt Might's article: