Timed Vacuity

Hana Chockler, Shibashis Guha, Orna Kupferman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review

24 Downloads (Pure)


Vacuity is a leading sanity check in model-checking, applied when the system is found to satisfy the specification. The check detects situations where the specification passes in a trivial way, say when a specification that requires every request to be followed by a grant is satisfied in a system with no requests. Such situations typically reveal problems in the modelling of the system or the specification, and indeed vacuity detection is a part of most industrial model-checking tools. Existing research and tools for vacuity concern discrete-time systems and specification formalisms. We introduce real-time vacuity, which aims to detect problems with real-time modelling. Real-time logics are used for the specification and verification of systems with a continuous-time behavior. We study vacuity for the branching real-time logic TCTL, and focus on vacuity with respect to the time constraints in the specification. Specifically, the logic TCTL includes the temporal operator UJ, which specifies real-time eventualities in real-time systems: the parameter J ⊆ IR≥0 is an interval with integral boundaries that bounds the time in which the eventuality should hold. We define several tightenings for the UJ operator. These tightenings require the eventuality to hold within a strict subset of J. We prove that vacuity detection for TCTL is PSPACE- complete, thus it does not increase the complexity of model-checking of TCTL. Our contribution involves an extension, termed TCTL+, of TCTL, which allows the interval J not to be continuous, and for which model checking stays in PSPACE. Finally, we describe a method for ranking vacuity results according to their significance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium on Formal Methods
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2018
Event22nd International Symposium on Formal Methods - Oxford, UK, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Jul 201817 Jul 2018

Publication series



Conference22nd International Symposium on Formal Methods
Abbreviated titleFM
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • vacuity
  • model checking
  • timed logic
  • complexity


Dive into the research topics of 'Timed Vacuity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this