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On SMT Theory Design: The Case of Sequences

16 pagesPublished: May 26, 2024


Choices in the semantics and the signature of a theory are integral in determining how the theory is used and how challenging it is to reason over it. Our interest in this paper lies in the SMT theory of sequences. Various versions of it exist in the literature and in state-of-the-art SMT solvers, but it has not yet been standardized in the SMT-LIB. We reflect on its existing variants, and we define a set of theory design criteria to help determine what makes one variant of a theory better than another. The criteria we define can be used to appraise theory proposals for other theories as well. Based on these criteria, we propose a series of changes to the SMT theory of sequences as a contribution to the discussion regarding its standardization.

Keyphrases: arrays, logic, Satisfiability Modulo Theories, sequences

In: Nikolaj Bjorner, Marijn Heule and Andrei Voronkov (editors). LPAR 2024 Complementary Volume, vol 18, pages 14--29

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Hichem Rami Ait El Hara and Fran\textbackslash{}c\{c\}ois Bobot and Guillaume Bury},
  title     = {On SMT Theory Design: The Case of Sequences},
  booktitle = {LPAR 2024 Complementary Volume},
  editor    = {Nikolaj Bj\{\textbackslash{}o\}rner and Marijn Heule and Andrei Voronkov},
  series    = {Kalpa Publications in Computing},
  volume    = {18},
  pages     = {14--29},
  year      = {2024},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2515-1762},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/75tl}}
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