Reflections on Termination of Linear Loops


This paper shows how techniques for linear dynamical systems can be used to reason about the behavior of general loops. We present two main results. First, we show that every loop that can be expressed as a transition formula in linear integer arithmetic has a best model as a deterministic affine transition system. Second, we show that for any linear dynamical system f with integer eigenvalues and any integer arithmetic formula G, there is a linear integer arithmetic formula that holds exactly for the states of f for which G is eventually invariant. Combining the two, we develop a monotone conditional termination analysis for general loops.

In International Conference on Computer Aided Verification