Technical Report: DCC-2013-04

KAT and Hoare Logic with Derivatives

Ricardo Almeida, Sabine Broda, Nelma Moreira

DCC-FC & CMUP, Universidade do Porto
e-mail:, {sbb,nam}
February 2013


Kleene algebra with tests (KAT) is an equational system for program verification, which is the combination of Boolean algebra (BA) and Kleene algebra (KA), the algebra of regular expressions. In particular, KAT subsumes the propositional fragment of Hoare logic (PHL) which is a formal system for the specification and verification of programs, and that is currently the base of most tools for checking program correctness. Both the equational theory of KAT and the encoding of PHL in KAT are known to be decidable. In this paper we present a new decision procedure for the equivalence of two KAT expressions based on the notion of partial derivatives. We also introduce the notion of derivative modulo particular sets of equations. With this we extend the previous procedure for deciding PHL. Some experimental results are also presented.