SAIV 2024


Clover: Closed-Loop Verifiable Code Generation

Chuyue Sun, Ying Sheng, Oded Padon, Clark Barrett

on  Tue, 15:00in  Main Roomfor  30min


The use of large language models for code generation is a rapidly growing trend in software development. However, without effective methods for ensuring the correctness of generated code, this trend could lead to undesirable outcomes. In this paper, we introduce a new approach for addressing this challenge: the Clover paradigm, short for Closed-Loop Verifiable Code Generation, which uses consistency checking to provide a strong filter for incorrect code. Clover performs consistency checks among code, docstrings, and formal annotations. The checker is implemented using a novel integration of formal verification tools and large language models. We provide a theoretical analysis to support our thesis that Clover should be effective at consistency checking. We also empirically investigate its performance on a hand-designed dataset (CloverBench) featuring annotated Dafny programs at a textbook level of difficulty. Experimental results show that for this dataset: (i) LLMs are reasonably successful at automatically generating formal specifications; and (ii) our consistency checker achieves a promising acceptance rate (up to 87%) for correct instances while maintaining zero tolerance for adversarial incorrect ones (no false positives). Clover also discovered 6 incorrect programs in the existing human-written dataset MBPP-DFY-50.

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