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Data Structures for Formal Verification of Circuit Designs (thesis)

Report ID:
December 1989
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We address the problem of logic verification, for both combinational and sequential logic. Our focus is on increasing the size and range of circuits for which formal verification, as opposed to test vector generation and simulation, is feasible. We discuss the Binary Decision Diagram (or BDD) as a means of representing boolean functions. This representation is canonical with respect to the variable ordering and is usually compact. We present an original algorithm for finding the optimal variable ordering for a BDD. This algorithm is additionally useful in the synthesis of a certain type of circuit. We introduce a data structure called the projective BDD which is not canonical but can be more compact than the BDD. We develop an algorithm for verifying multiplier circuits using this structure. Finally, we present a form of
deterministic finite automaton, the n-DFA, whose transitions are labeled with boolean functions. Using this structure, we develop an algorithm for the problem of sequential logic verification. For each of these algorithms-to do BDD minimization, multiplier verification, and verification of sequential circuits - we report the running times of actual implementations and compare them to benchmarks in order to demonstrate the practicality of our methods.

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