Abstraction and counterexample-guided refinement in model checking of hybrid systems

Edmund Clarke, Ansgar Fehnker, Zhi Han, Bruce Krogh, Joël Ouaknine, Olaf Stursberg, Michael Theobald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


Hybrid dynamic systems include both continuous and discrete state variables. Properties of hybrid systems, which have an infinite state space, can often be verified using ordinary model checking together with a finite-state abstraction. Model checking can be inconclusive, however, in which case the abstraction must be refined. This paper presents a new procedure to perform this refinement operation for abstractions of hybrid systems. Following an approach originally developed for finite-state systems [11, 25], the refinement procedure constructs a new abstraction that eliminates a counterexample generated by the model checker. For hybrid systems, analysis of the counterexample requires the computation of sets of reachable states in the continuous state space. We show how such reachability computations with varying degrees of complexity can be used to refine hybrid system abstractions efficiently. Examples illustrate our counterexample-guided refinement procedure. Experimental results for a prototype implementation indicate significant advantages over existing methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-604
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Foundations of Computer Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


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