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Re: [tlaplus] Re: Why model-checking of DieHarder does not end, but PDieHard does?

Such typos are often not so easy to catch, and the longer you stare at your specification the less you notice them. You can try to make your life a little easier by using TLC to check invariants that you'd assume to hold trivially, such as

  \A j \in Jugs : 0 <= injug[j] /\ injug[j] <= Capacity[j]

as Leslie hinted at in item 4 of his answer. TLC would have shown you a counter-example that might have led you to your typo a little faster. Conversely, if TLC finds much fewer states than you expect your model to have, it helps to check predicates that you expect to be false. For example, you could assert predicates such as

  \A j \in Jugs : injug[j] = 0   or    \E j \in Jugs : injug[j] = 0 

as invariants and letting TLC generate traces to help validate your specification.


Concerning your question about distinguishing functional values: two functions f and g are equal iff their domains are equal and if for every value in that domain, the functions yield the same result, in symbols

  f = g <=> (DOMAIN f = DOMAIN g) /\ (\A x \in DOMAIN f : f[x] = g[x])

For those functions that TLC can represent explicitly, it can decide these conditions and thus compare two functions.

Best regards,

On 24 Aug 2014, at 11:48, Fumin Wang <awaw...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Turns out that it was my bad, a typo by me in the line of Listing 1

poured = Min(injug[j]+injug[k], Capacity[k] - injug[k])

when it really should be

poured = Min(injug[j]+injug[k], Capacity[k]) - injug[k]

Note the position of the closing parenthesis. 


The debugging steps that led to this discovery was to first scrutinize the explanation and ASCII spec as described in the book. After rereading the passage a couple of times, I was pretty convinced that the book was correct. 

Could there really be some special treatment for function variables in TLC like I wrongly suspected in the previous post? Again after rereading chapter 15 and the paper "Should your specification language be Typed", I was pretty convinced that functions were nothing special under a Set-theoretic treatment. In other words, if the tuple of numbers << big, small >> is conceptually enumerable and distinctable, so could the tuple of an function << injug >>.

This leaves the possibility of something wrong in my code. Further scrutiny eventually revealed the bug and typo described above. Fixing it results in the number of distinct states being 6 as expected.


By the way, thanks for the anecdote about the faulty book on Differential Geometry. Although, I am now most excited to be able to proceed on to chapter 6 and begin entering the main topic of analyzing distributed systems, I'd nevertheless be carrying the lesson with me.

On Sunday, August 24, 2014 2:24:41 PM UTC+8, Leslie Lamport wrote:

1. If every jug must contain an integral amount of water between 0 and
its capacity, how many possible reachable states are there?

2. How many reachable states did TLC find before you stopped it?

3. What can you deduce from your answers to 1 & 2?

4. Does your answer to 3 suggest how you can use TLC to help you
figure out what's wrong?


Many years ago I read a book on differential geometry.  The book was full
of errors.  I couldn't believe anything it said.  I had to check everything
and, if it was wrong, I had to figure out how to correct it.  No other book
ever taught me as much as that book.


On Saturday, August 23, 2014 9:48:23 PM UTC-7, Fumin Wang wrote:
While validating the sentence

Try other models. Start with a model with two jugs of capacity 3 and 6 gallons, having the goal of obtaining 4 gallons of water. TLC will report that the alleged invariant actually is an invariant.

on page 57 of the TLA+ hyperbook, I observed that the DieHarder spec (Listing 1) does not end with the number of distinct states ever increasing (about 300 million after 10 minutes or so). However, the seemingly equivalent PDieHard (Listing 2) ends pretty soon reporting only 6 distinct states. How could this be? If the model-checking goes on infinitely, how do we infer from TLC " that the alleged invariant actually is an invariant"?

My unsatisfying explanation right now is that since in the PDieHard spec, the variables "big" and "small" are Integers, and therefore have an unambiguous definition for their distinctness. In the Dieharder spec, the variable "injug" is a function, which might not possess a notion of distinctness. Obviously, this explanation is confusing and funky.

Is it true that there is some deficiency in the DieHarder version of the spec to the same DieHard problem, or did I misunderstood something and introduced some bug in Listing 1?


Listing 1
--algorithm DieHarder {
  variable injug = [j \in Jugs |-> 0];
  { while (TRUE)
      { either with (j \in Jugs) \* fill jug j
                 { injug[j] := Capacity[j] }
        or     with (j \in Jugs) \* empty jug j
                 { injug[j] := 0 }
        or     with (j \in Jugs, k \in Jugs \ {j}) \* pour from jug j to jug k
                 { with (poured = Min(injug[j]+injug[k], Capacity[k] - injug[k]))
                     { injug[k] := injug[k] + poured ||
                       injug[j] := injug[j] - poured }


Listing 2
--algorithm DieHard {
  variables big = 0, small = 0;
  { while (TRUE)
    { either big := 6
      or     small := 3
      or     big := 0
      or     small := 0
      or     with (poured = Min (big + small, 6) - big)
               { big := big + poured;
                 small := small - poured }
      or     with (poured = Min(big + small, 3) - small)
               { big := big - poured;
                 small := small + poured }

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