Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages | VOL. 6
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Modular verification of op-based CRDTs in separation logic

Publication Date Oct 31, 2022

Abstract

Operation-based Conflict-free Replicated Data Types (op-based CRDTs) are a family of distributed data structures where all operations are designed to commute, so that replica states eventually converge. Additionally, op-based CRDTs require that operations be propagated between replicas in causal order. This paper presents a framework for verifying safety properties of CRDT implementations using separation logic. The framework consists of two libraries. One implements a Reliable Causal Broadcast (RCB) protocol so that replicas can exchange messages in causal order. A second “OpLib” library then uses RCB to simplify the creation and correctness proofs of op-based CRDTs. OpLib allows clients to implement new CRDTs as purely-functional data structures, without having to reason about network operations, concurrency control and mutable state, and without having to each time re-implement causal broadcast. Using OpLib, we have implemented 12 example CRDTs from the literature, including multiple versions of replicated registers and sets, two CRDT combinators for products and maps, and two example use cases of the map combinator. Our proofs are conducted in the Aneris distributed separation logic and are formalized in Coq. Our technique is the first work on verification of op-based CRDTs that satisfies both of the following properties: it is modular and targets executable implementations , as opposed to high-level protocols.

Concepts

Separation Logic Causal Order Causal Broadcast Mutable State Concurrency Control Network Operations Data Structures Broadcast Protocol Conflict-free Replicated Data Types Replicated Data Types

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