[KNP02b] Marta Kwiatkowska, Gethin Norman and David Parker. Probabilistic Symbolic Model Checking with PRISM: A Hybrid Approach. In J-P. Katoen and P. Stevens (editors), Proc. TACAS'02, volume 2280 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 52-66, Springer. April 2002. [ps.gz] [pdf] [bib]
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Notes: This paper is superceded by [KNP04b]. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com.
Abstract. In this paper we introduce PRISM, a probabilistic model checker, and describe the efficient symbolic techniques we have developed during its implementation. PRISM is a tool for analysing probabilistic systems. It supports three models: discrete-time Markov chains, continuous-time Markov chains and Markov decision processes. Analysis is performed through model checking specifications in the probabilistic temporal logics PCTL and CSL. Motivated by the success of model checkers such as SMV, which use BDDs (binary decision diagrams), we have developed an implementation of PCTL and CSL model checking based on MTBDDs (multi-terminal BDDs) and BDDs. Existing work in this direction has been hindered by the generally poor performance of MTBDD-based numerical computation, which is often substantially slower than explicit methods using sparse matrices. We present a novel hybrid technique which combines aspects of symbolic and explicit approaches to overcome these performance problems. For typical examples, we achieve orders of magnitude speed-up compared to MTBDDs and are able to almost match the speed of sparse matrices whilst maintaining considerable space savings.