Higher-Order Approximate Relational Refinement Types for Mechanism Design and Differential Privacy
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Welcome to the HOARe² compiler distribution!

We provide the type checker and examples used in papers:

Build instructions:

We recommend using OPAM to install the tool, you'll need a recent repository and standard gnu tools (gcc and make).

$ opam update
$ opam switch 4.03.0
$ opam upgrade
$ `eval `opam config env`
$ opam install ocamlbuild why3 menhir alt-ergo coq
$ why3 config --detect
$ make
$ ./arlc -L examples/popl/ examples/popl/dummysum.rlc


You want to install some SMT solvers to run the tool. We recommend the following set:

$ why3 config --detect
Found prover Alt-Ergo version 1.00.prv, OK.
Found prover CVC4 version 1.4, OK.
Found prover CVC4 version 1.4 (alternative: noBV)
Found prover CVC3 version 2.4.1, OK.
Found prover Eprover version 1.8-001, OK.
Found prover Z3 version 4.3.1 (old version, please consider upgrading).

You may be lucky with other versions. Links:

Running HOARe²:

To type-check a program just run:

$ ./arlc examples/ex01

arlc --help should display help for the tool.

Editing and viewing examples:

The examples are in the examples/ directory.

We recommend using Emacs and Tuareg-mode to open the .rlc files. It is not perfect but it does a good job, as our syntax is closely based on OCaml's one.

You can add:

(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.rlc$"      . tuareg-mode) t)

to your emacs to automate the mode-loading process.

Reproducing results:

For practical reasons, a couple of examples produce a .why file to be verified using the Why3ide.


$ why3ide -I examples $file

to proceed.

In particular:

  • examples/binary_vc_length_power_0.why:

    Requires the use of Eprover, it will then check.

  • examples/binary_vc_m_ass_0_solved.why

    This one is tricky and needs Eprover and CVC3 to check.

  • examples/summarization_vc_pSig_cut_0.why:

    CVC4 can solve the file as is with a large enough timeout (90s), using the split tactic in the IDE allows the goal to be solved immediately.

More about the tool

If you are curious about the examples individually, we provide several verbosity options to witness the type checking process -v 1 to -v 9.

Depending on your machine the solvers may need a larger timeout. You can control it using the --timeout parameter but the default should be fine for most.

Some examples may take a long time, if they fail with a timeout, try increasing it:

$ ./arlc --timeout 90 examples/summarization.rlc

The tool is in alpha stage, it may be difficult to use for your own particular programs, but we would be happy to help.

The most common failure of the typechecking is solvers failing to verify an assertion. If that happens, you can use:

$ why3ide arlc_current.why

to play with the proof context and debug the cause of failure.

Limitations of the tool

There are two important limitations of the tool, however workarounds do exists:

  • Bidirectional type-checking is very limited at the moment. This means that you may need to use a cut (see eq_v in dummysum.rlc for example) in the leaves to hint the type checker about the return type.

    Also "match" require annotations.

  • Assertion checking may fail with an error if the assertion cannot be translated to Why3. Why3 has limited support for higher-order and we have not implemented a complete defunctionalization/demonadlization procedure yet.

    In most cases is possible to factorize the program to avoid this error.

Language extensions

In order to help with development, two helper primitives "trust" and "have" are supported.

have : { Assertion }        in

Will introduce a cut or intermediate lemma for helping the SMT. In quite a few cases, the SMTs cannot prove A -> B directly, but with a hint C, they are able to prove A -> C, and C -> B. (We usually discover this conditions using why3ide).

The have primitive just eases the introduction of cuts.

trust (ass_name) res : T = e in

Will consider e to have type T without calling the SMTs. However, it will output the pending proof to a file "ass_name.why", allowing to prove it using the why3ide. We also output a Coq file for the Coq-inclined user.

We hope you have fun, don't hesitate to contact us for any question or help.

Language reference: