Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT) solvers are used in many modern program verification, analysis and testing tools. They owe their scale and efficiency thanks to advances in search algorithms underlying modern SAT solvers and first-order theorem provers. They owe their versatility in software development applications thanks to specialized algorithms supporting theories, such as numbers and algebraic data-types, of relevance for software engineering. This lecture introduces algorithmic principles of SMT solving, taking as basis modern SAT solvers and integration with specialized theory solvers and quantifier reasoning. We detail some of the algorithms used for main theories used in current SMT solvers and survey newer theories and approaches to integrating solvers. The lectures also outline some application scenarios where SMT solvers have found use, including program verification, network analysis, symbolic model checking, test-case generation, and white-box fuzzing.
These lecture notes highlight the main algorithm used in modern SAT and SMT solvers, the SAT Conflict Directed Clause Learning algorithm, and casts it as process of searching for a model and building a refutation partial proof in tandem. This theme is common to many of the algorithms used in theory solvers.
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