Floating point verification in HOL Light: the exponential function
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University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory; New Museums Site
Pembroke Street; Cambridge CB2 3QG
Since they often embody compact but mathematically sophisticated algorithms, operations for computing the common transcendental functions in floating point arithmetic seem good targets for formal verification using a mechanical theorem prover. We discuss some of the general issues that arise in verifications of this class, and then present a machine-checked verification of an algorithm for computing the exponential function in IEEE-754 standard binary floating point arithmetic. We confirm (indeed strengthen) the main result of a previously published error analysis, though we uncover a minor error in the hand proof and are forced to confront several subtle issues that might easily be overlooked informally. The development described here includes, apart from the proof itself, a formalization of IEEE arithmetic, a mathematical semantics for the programming language in which the algorithm is expressed, and the body of pure mathematics needed. All this is developed logically from first prin...