Being Careful about Theory Combination

Being Careful about Theory Combination” by Dejan Jovanovic and Clark Barrett. Formal Methods in System Design, vol. 42, no. 1, Feb. 2013, pp. 67-90, Springer US.


One of the main shortcomings of traditional methods for combining theories is the complexity of guessing the arrangement of variables shared by the individual theories. This paper presents a reformulation of the Nelson-Oppen method that takes into account explicit equality propagation and can ignore pairs of shared variables that the theories do not care about. We show the correctness of the new approach and present care functions for the theory of uninterpreted functions and the theory of arrays. The effectiveness of the new method is illustrated by experimental results demonstrating a dramatic performance improvement on benchmarks combining arrays and bit-vectors.

Keywords: Theory combination; Nelson-Oppen; Satisfiability modulo theories

BibTeX entry:

   author = {Dejan Jovanovi{\'c} and Clark Barrett},
   affiliation = {New York University, New York, USA},
   title = {Being Careful about Theory Combination},
   journal = {Formal Methods in System Design},
   volume = {42},
   number = {1},
   pages = {67--90},
   publisher = {Springer US},
   month = feb,
   year = {2013},
   issn = {0925-9856},
   url = {}

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