Strong Logic for Weak Memory: Reasoning About Release-Acquire Consistency in Iris

Jan-Oliver Kaiser, Hoang-Hai Dang, Derek Dreyer, Ori Lahav, and Viktor Vafeiadis

Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS)


The field of concurrent separation logics (CSLs) has recently undergone two exciting developments: (1) the Iris framework for encoding and unifying advanced higher-order CSLs and formalizing them in Coq, and (2) the adaptation of CSLs to account for weak memory models, notably C11's release-acquire (RA) consistency. Unfortunately, these developments are seemingly incompatible, since Iris only applies to languages with an operational interleaving semantics, while C11 is defined by a declarative (axiomatic) semantics.

In this paper, we show that, on the contrary, it is not only feasible but useful to marry these developments together. Our first step is to provide a novel operational characterization of RA+NA, the fragment of C11 containing RA accesses and "non-atomic" (normal data) accesses. Instantiating Iris with this semantics, we then derive higher-order variants of two prominent RA+NA logics, GPS and RSL. Finally, we deploy these derived logics in order to perform the first mechanical verifications (in Coq) of several interesting case studies of RA+NA programming. In a nutshell, we provide the first foundationally verified framework for proving programs correct under C11's weak-memory semantics.




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