IVy’s commands share a common argument syntax:

command option=valuefile.ivy

Common options

These options are common to all the IVy commands. In the following, name represents a hierarchical IVy name, which may contain the . character, and boolean represents a Boolean value true or false.


This options specifies the name of a isolate to verify or extract.


If true, this option causes a representation of the elaborated IVy code to be printed before doing any other work. The elaborated code reflects all the module instantiations as well as the various transformations performed by IVy’s compiler to produce an isolate. This is useful to see in detail what is contained in an isolate.


If true, certain optional warnings are enabled. The default value is false.



This command checks the proof of an IVy program. This includes checking all the invariants and program assertions as well as the non-interference check which guarantees that the division of the proof into isolates is sound. If a particular isolate is specified with the isolate option, then only the guarantees of this isolate are checked. To guarantee correctness of the program, it must be checked without the isolate option.

During checking, ivy_check prints a summary of the contents of each isolate being verified, including all assumptions and guarantees. For each check of a guarantee, PASS is printed if the check passes and FAIL if it fails.

The options of the ivy_check command are:


If true, this options causes the check to stop at the first guarantee that fails. A counterexample for this guarantee is constructed and the graphical counterexample viewer is launched to display the counterexample. The default value is false.


If true, this options causes the check to stop at the first guarantee that fails. A counterexample for this guarantee is constructed and a corresponding execution trace is printed on standard out. The trace is formatted so that in an emacs compilation buffer, references to source lines are active links. The printed trace can be more convenient than the graphical counterexample viewer, especially if the state contains functions or relations of arity greater than two. The default value is false.


If true, this causes the summary to be printed, but no actual checking occurs. The default value is false.


If true, the check on use of mutable symbols in axioms is relaxed. This feature should be used with caution. In principle an axiom should be a tautology, in which case it is safe to assert it even if it contains mutable symbols. In practice, however, it is very easy to rule out possible system behaviors by incorrect use of axioms. The default value of this option is false.


If false, the interference check is not applied. This feature is unsound and should be applied only as a temporary measure. The default value is true.


This option affects the behavior of the fragment checker that checkers whether verification conditions are contained in the prover’s decidable fragment. The possible values of logic are:

  • epr This is the “effectively propositional” fragment, which is extended to include stratified use of function symbols.
  • qf This fragment allows interpreted theories of the prover, but no quantifiers.
  • fo This is unrestricted first-order logic modulo the prover’s theories.

The last option does not guarantee decidability and may result in significant instability of the prover. The default value is epr.


This option enables the “macro finder” option in Z3. This detects quantified formulas that behave as macros, and eliminates them by substitution. This option is usually helpful, but occasionally causes Z3 to be very slow. The default is true.


If true, Z3 is used incrementally when checking invariants. Default is true.


Sets the random seed for the SMT solver.


This command prints the elaborated program (see the option show_compiled above) and exits.


This command runs an interactive user interface for constructing inductive invariants. The options are as follows:


Here, interface specifies the user interface for invariant construction. The values are:

  • art This interface supports interactive construct of an Abstract Reachability Tree.
  • cti This interface supports an interactive approach to invariant construction based on counterexamples to induction.

The default value is art.


This command extracts an IVY program to C++. The isolate option in this command usually references an ‘extract’ in the IVy program, representing an implementation to be extracted. The options are:


The ivy_to_cpp command can extract code in several forms:

  • repl This is a a “read-eval-print” loop that reads calls to exported actions from the command line and writes output on calls to imported actions.

  • test This composes the extract with a randomized tester.

  • class This produces only a C++ class representing the extract, without a main function.

There is no default value.


This gives the name of the extracted C++ class. The default is the name of the main IVy file, without the .ivy extension. The names of the extracted header and implementation files are cname.h and cname.cpp respectively.


If true, this option causes the extracted C++ to be compiled. In case of repl or test targets, the code is also linked into an executable file. On Unix the name of the executable is the same as the class name, whereas on Windows it is cname.exe, where cname is the class name.


This option determines the compiler used to build the code. The default is g++ on Unix and cl on Windows.


This option causes statements producing trace information on stdout to be inserted in the extracted code.


Determines the name of the main function, if one is generated. The default is main.


Causes the file stdafx.h to be included in the first line of the implementation file.


Causes output files to be generated in directory. Default is the current directory.