Coverage estimation using transition perturbation for symbolic model checking in hardware verification

Xingwen Xu, Shinji Kimura, Kazunari Horikawa, Takehiko Tsuchiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Lack of complete formal specification is one of the major obstacles to the deployment of model checking. Coverage estimation addresses this issue by revealing the unverified part of the design according to the specified properties. In this paper we propose a new transition-based coverage metric to evaluate the completeness of properties for symbolic model checking. Our coverage metric pinpoints the transitions through which the values of signals are checked. An efficient symbolic algorithm is presented for computing the transition coverage for a subset of ACTL. Our coverage estimator has been applied to the model checking of a cache coherence protocol. We uncovered several coverage holes including one that eventually led to the discovery of a design bug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3451-3457
Number of pages7
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec



  • Model checking
  • Transition coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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