Semantic Foundations for Typed Assembly Languages

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Executive Summary

Typed Assembly Languages (TALs) are used to validate the safety of machine-language programs. The Foundational Proof-Carrying Code project seeks to verify the soundness of TALs using the smallest possible set of axioms-the axioms of a suitably expressive logic plus a specification of machine semantics. This paper proposes general semantic foundations that permit modular proofs of the soundness of TALs. These semantic foundations include Typed Machine Language (TML), a type theory for specifying properties of low-level data with powerful and orthogonal type constructors, and Lc, a compositional logic for specifying properties of machine instructions with simplified reasoning about unstructured control flow.

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