Not Necessarily Closed Convex Polyhedra and the Double Description Method

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBagnara R, Hill PM, Zaffanella E
JournalFormal Aspects of Computing
Keywordsabstract interpretation, convex polyhedra, double description method, minimization, numerical properties, software verification, static analysis

Since the seminal work of Cousot and Halbwachs, the domain of convex polyhedra has been employed in several systems for the analysis and verification of hardware and software components. Although most implementations of the polyhedral operations assume that the polyhedra are topologically closed (i.e., all the constraints defining them are non-strict), several analyzers and verifiers need to compute on a domain of convex polyhedra that are not necessarily closed (NNC). The usual approach to implementing NNC polyhedra is to embed them into closed polyhedra in a higher dimensional vector space and reuse the tools and techniques already available for closed polyhedra. In this work we highlight and discuss the issues underlying such an embedding for those implementations that are based on the double description method, where a polyhedron may be described by a system of linear constraints or by a system of generating rays and points. Two major achievements are the definition of a theoretically clean, high-level user interface and the specification of an efficient procedure for removing redundancies from the descriptions of NNC polyhedra.

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