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“Verification Games: Making Verification Fun” by W. Dietl, S. Dietzel, M. D. Ernst, N. Mote, B. Walker, S. Cooper, T. Pavlik, and Z. Popović. In Formal Techniques for Java-like Programs (FTfJP), June 2012, pp. 42-49.


Program verification is the only way to be certain that a given piece of software is free of (certain types of) errors — errors that could otherwise disrupt operations in the field. To date, formal verification has been done by specially-trained engineers. Labor costs have heretofore made formal verification too costly to apply beyond small, critical software components.

Our goal is to make verification more cost-effective by reducing the skill set required for program verification and increasing the pool of people capable of performing program verification. Our approach is to transform the verification task (a program and a goal property) into a visual puzzle task — a game — that gets solved by people. The solution of the puzzle is then translated back into a proof of correctness. The puzzle is engaging and intuitive enough that ordinary people can through game-play become experts.

This paper presents a status report on the Verification Games project and our Pipe Jam prototype game.

Keywords: verigames

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BibTeX entry:

   author = {W. Dietl and S. Dietzel and M. D. Ernst and N. Mote and B.
        Walker and S. Cooper and T. Pavlik and Z. Popovi{'c}},
   title = {Verification Games: Making Verification Fun},
   month = jun,

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