Thought Leadership

Formal Verification Done Fast

By Dennis Brophy

It’s not too late to register for our two-part webinar on faster formal verification.

This week and next we will share tips and tricks to get faster results from your formal verification runs in a two-part online one-hour web seminar. Most of the time, your formal verification runs will return results quickly. For those few times it seems to run forever or take more and more memory, you wonder if it is best to stop the run and start over. This two part seminar will explore how to make the right decision either to continue or to stop and restart a long formal verification run. More information and registration instructions for the two events are found in the links below:

  • Register for part 1 here (On-Demand)
  • Register for part 2 here (On-Demand)

Cut Your Losses Short vs. Hope Springs Eternal

If a majority of your formal runs complete quickly, you certainly know how to setup your runs. So when those long run outliers happen they are not easily understood.  Worse yet, the investment in time and compute resources would be left to waste if you stop and restart.  How long is good enough to wait?  After how many days do you “throw in the towel?”  There is a psychology that wants us to continue a long run so used compute resources are not seen as a waste.  You will never get back the sunk cost unless you give the run more time to complete.  You may have had good experiences with long runs in the past that completed, so you might not abandon all hope.  You are at a point where you either “cut your losses” or succumb to a positivity trap in that your “hope springs eternal.”

Your dilemma

When making the tough choice to stop and restart a run, it is best not to focus on the sunk cost that was spent in that long formal verification run but on the upside.  There is a body of research that has examined human nature’s tendency to increase one’s commitment to a failing endeavor.  What research has found is you need a method to de-escalate commitment.   A good way to know you are making the right decision is to focus on what you have to gain instead of what yo have to lose.

We can help you make that decision.  Our Should I Kill My Formal Run web seminar will help you determine if you should de-escalate your commitment (stop and restart) a long formal run or let it continue.  When armed with the right information about the progress of your formal run, you will be able to beat the unconscious psychological forces that a place high value on sunk cost (time and use of compute resources) to focus on the gain you will get if your stop and restart.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at