Separation and Information Hiding

Peter W. O'Hearn, Hongseok Yang and John C. Reynolds

To appear at Principles of Programming Languages (POPL04), Venice, Italy, January 14-16, 2004


We investigate proof rules for information hiding, using the recent formalism of separation logic. In essence, we use the separating conjunction to partition the internal resources of a module from those accessed by the module's clients. The use of a logical connective gives rise to a form of dynamic partitioning, where we track the transfer of ownership of portions of heap storage between program components. It also enables us to enforce separation in the presence of mutable data structures with embedded addresses that may be aliased.

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