ADR-009: Apalache Outputs

authorslast revised
Jure Kukovec, Shon Feder2021-12-14

This ADR documents the various files produced by Apalache, and where they get written to.

1. Categories of outputs

Files produced by Apalache belong to one of the following categories:

  1. Counterexamples
  2. Log files
  3. Intermediate state outputs
  4. Run analysis files

Counterexamples (if there are any) and basic logs should always be produced, but the remaining outputs are considered optional. Each optional category is associated with a flag: --write-intermediate for intermediate state outputs and an individual flag for each kind of analysis. At the time of writing, the only analysis is governed by --profiling, for profiling results. All such optional flags should default to false.

2. Output directory and run directories

Apalache should define an out-dir parameter, which defines the location of all outputs produced by Apalache. If unspecified, this value should default to the working directory, during each run, but it should be possible to designate a fixed location, e.g. <HOME>/apalache-out/.

Each run looks for a subdirectory inside of the out-dir with the same name as the principle file provided as input (or, for commands that do not read input from a file, named after the executed subcommand). This subdirectory is called the specification's (resp. command's) namespace within the out-dir. All outputs originating from that input file (resp. command) will be written to this namespace.

Each run produces a subdirectory in its namespace, with the following name:


based on the ISO 8601 standard. Here, <DATE> is the date in YYYY-MM-DD format, <TIME> is the local time in HH-MM-SS format.

Example file structure for a run executed on a file test.tla:

└── test.tla
    ├── 2021-11-05T22-54-55_810261790529975561

Custom run directories

The --run-dir flag can be used to specify an output directory into which outputs are written directly. When the --run-dir flag is specified, all content included in the run directory specified above will also be written into the directories specified by this argument.

3. Structure of a run directory

Each run directory outlined in the previous section, should contain the following:

  • A file run.txt, containing the command issued for this run, with all implicit parameters filled in, so it can be replicated exactly
  • 0 or more counterexample files
  • a pre-filled bug report file, if the tool exited with a FailureMessage
  • if --write-intermediate is set, a subdirectory intermediate, containing outputs associated with each of the passes in Apalache
  • an Apalache log file detailed.log.
  • an SMT log file log0.smt
  • Files associated with enabled analyses, e.g. profile-rules.txt

4. Global Configuration File

Apalache should define a global configuration file apalache.cfg, e.g. in the <HOME>/.tlaplus directory, in which users can define the default values of all parameters, including all flags listed in section 1, as well as out-dir. The format of the configuration file is an implementation detail and will not be specified here.

Apalache should also look for a local configuration file .apalache.cfg, within current working directory or its parents. If it finds such file, any configured parameters therein will override the parameters from the global config file.

If a parameter is specified in the configuration file, it replaces the default value, but specifying a parameter manually always overrides config defaults. In other words, parameter values are determined in the following way, by order of priority:

  1. If --<flag>=<value> is given, use <value>, otherwise
  2. if a local .apalache.cfg file is found (or is specified with the --config-file argument) containing <flag>: <value>, then use <value>, otherwise
  3. if the global apalache.cfg specifies <flag>: <value> use <value>, otherwise
  4. Use the defaults specified in the ApalacheConfig class.