The size of BDDs and other data structures in temporal logics modelchecking

Andrea Ferrara, Paolo Liberatore, and Marco Schaerf

IEEE Transactions on Computers

Temporal Logic Model Checking is a verification method in which we describe a system, the model, and then we verify whether important properties, expressed in a temporal logic formula, hold in the system. Many Model Checking tools employ BDDs or some other data structure to represent sets of states. It has been empirically observed that the BDDs used in these algorithms may grow exponentially as the model and formula increase in size. We formally prove that no kind of data structure of polynomial size can represent the set of valid initial states for all models and all formulae. This result holds for all data structures where a state can be checked in polynomial time. Therefore, it holds not only for all types of BDDs regardless of variable ordering, but also for more powerful data structures, such as RBCs, MTBDDs, ADDs and SDDs. Thus, the size explosion of BDDs is not a limit of these specific data representation structures, but is unavoidable: every formalism used in the same way would lead to an exponential size blow up.

 title = {The size of BDDs and other data structures in temporal
 logics modelchecking},
 year = {2016},
 author = {Ferrara, Andrea and Liberatore, Paolo and Schaerf,
 journal = {IEEE Transactions on Computers},
 pages = {3148--3156},
 volume = {65},
doi: 10.1109/TC.2015.2512872