Automatic Test-Case Reduction in Proof Assistants: A Case Study in Coq

Jason Gross, Théo Zimmermann, Miraya Poddar-Agrawal, Adam Chlipala. Automatic Test-Case Reduction in Proof Assistants: A Case Study in Coq. Proceedings of the Interactive Theorem Proving - Thirteenth International Conference (ITP'22). August 2022.

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As the adoption of proof assistants increases, there is a need for efficiency in identifying, documenting, and fixing compatibility issues that arise from proof assistant evolution. We present the Coq Bug Minimizer, a tool for reproducing buggy behavior with minimal and standalone files, integrated with coqbot to trigger automatically on Coq reverse CI failures. Our tool eliminates the overhead of having to download, set up, compile, and then explore and understand large developments: enabling Coq developers to easily obtain modular test-case files for fast experimentation. In this paper, we describe insights about how test-case reduction is different in Coq than in traditional compilers.We expect that our insights will generalize to other proof assistants. We evaluate the Coq Bug Minimizer on over 150 CI failures. Our tool succeeds in reducing failures to smaller test cases in roughly 75% of the time. The minimizer produces a fully standalone test case 89% of the time, and it is on average about one-third the size of the original test. The average reduced test case compiles in 1.25 seconds, with 75% taking under half a second.

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