Pilsner

Pilsner: a compositionally verified compiler for a higher-order imperative language. Compiler verification is essential for the construction of fully verified software, but most prior work (such as CompCert) has focused on verifying whole-program compilers. To support separate compilation and to enable linking of results from different verified compilers, it is important to develop a compositional notion of compiler correctness that is modular (preserved under linking), transitive (supports multi-pass compilation), and flexible (applicable to compilers that use different intermediate languages or employ non-standard program transformations).par In this paper, building on prior work of the second author et al. [in: Proceedings of the 39th annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT symposium on principles of programming languages, POPL ’12. New York, NY: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). 59--72 (2012; Zbl 1321.68198)], we develop a novel approach to compositional compiler verification based on parametric inter-language simulations (PILS). PILS are modular: they enable compiler verification in a manner that supports separate compilation. PILS are transitive: we use them to verify Pilsner, a simple (but non-trivial) multi-pass optimizing compiler (programmed in Coq) from an ML-like source language S to an assembly-like target language T, going through a CPS-based intermediate language. Pilsner is the first multi-pass compiler for a higher-order imperative language to be compositionally verified. Lastly, PILS are flexible: we use them to additionally verify (1) Zwickel, a direct non-optimizing compiler for S, and (2) a hand-coded self-modifying T module, proven correct w.r.t. an S-level specification. The output of Zwickel and the self-modifying T module can then be safely linked together with the output of Pilsner. All together, this has been a significant undertaking, involving several person-years of work and over 55,000 lines of Coq.