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quickcheck-state-machine is a Haskell library, based on QuickCheck, for testing stateful programs. The library is different from the Test.QuickCheck.Monadic approach in that it lets the user specify the correctness by means of a state machine based model using pre- and post-conditions. The advantage of the state machine approach is twofold: 1) specifying the correctness of your programs becomes less adhoc, and 2) you get testing for race conditions for free.

The combination of state machine based model specification and property based testing first appeard in Erlang’s proprietary QuickCheck. The quickcheck-state-machine library can be seen as an attempt to provide similar functionality to Haskell’s QuickCheck library.


As a first example, let’s implement and test programs using mutable references. Our implementation will be using IORefs, but let’s start with a representation of what actions are possible with programs using mutable references. Our mutable references can be created, read from, written to and incremented:

data Command r
  = Create
  | Read      (Reference (Opaque (IORef Int)) r)
  | Write     (Reference (Opaque (IORef Int)) r) Int
  | Increment (Reference (Opaque (IORef Int)) r)

data Response r
  = Created (Reference (Opaque (IORef Int)) r)
  | ReadValue Int
  | Written
  | Incremented

When we generate actions we won’t be able to create arbitrary IORefs, that’s why all uses of IORefs are wrapped in Reference _ r, where the parameter r will let us use symbolic references while generating (and concrete ones when executing).

In order to be able to show counterexamples, we need a show instance for our actions. IORefs don’t have a show instance, thats why we wrap them in Opaque; which gives a show instance to a type that doesn’t have one.

Next, we give the actual implementation of our mutable references. To make things more interesting, we parametrise the semantics by a possible problem.

data Bug = None | Logic | Race
  deriving Eq

semantics :: Bug -> Command Concrete -> IO (Response Concrete)
semantics bug cmd = case cmd of
  Create        -> Created     <$> (reference . Opaque <$> newIORef 0)
  Read ref      -> ReadValue   <$> readIORef  (opaque ref)
  Write ref i   -> Written     <$  writeIORef (opaque ref) i'
    -- One of the problems is a bug that writes a wrong value to the
    -- reference.
      i' | bug == Logic && i `elem` [5..10] = i + 1
         | otherwise                        = i
  Increment ref -> do
    -- The other problem is that we introduce a possible race condition
    -- when incrementing.
    if bug == Race
    then do
      i <- readIORef (opaque ref)
      threadDelay =<< randomRIO (0, 5000)
      writeIORef (opaque ref) (i + 1)
      atomicModifyIORef' (opaque ref) (\i -> (i + 1, ()))
    return Incremented

Note that above r is instantiated to Concrete, which is essentially the identity type, so while writing the semantics we have access to real IORefs.

We now have an implementation, the next step is to define a model for the implementation to be tested against. We’ll use a simple map between references and integers as a model.

newtype Model r = Model [(Reference (Opaque (IORef Int)) r, Int)]

initModel :: Model r
initModel = Model []

The pre-condition of an action specifies in what context the action is well-defined. For example, we can always create a new mutable reference, but we can only read from references that already have been created. The pre-conditions are used while generating programs (lists of actions).

precondition :: Model Symbolic -> Command Symbolic -> Logic
precondition (Model m) cmd = case cmd of
  Create        -> Top
  Read  ref     -> ref `member` map fst m
  Write ref _   -> ref `member` map fst m
  Increment ref -> ref `member` map fst m

The transition function explains how actions change the model. Note that the transition function is polymorphic in r. The reason for this is that we use the transition function while generating and shrinking (with r ~ Symbolic) and when executing (with r ~ Concrete) sequences of commands.

transition :: Eq1 r => Model r -> Command r -> Response r -> Model r
transition m@(Model model) cmd resp = case (cmd, resp) of
  (Create, Created ref)        -> Model ((ref, 0) : model)
  (Read _, ReadValue _)        -> m
  (Write ref x, Written)       -> Model (update ref x model)
  (Increment ref, Incremented) -> case lookup ref model of
    Just i  -> Model (update ref (succ i) model)

update :: Eq a => a -> b -> [(a, b)] -> [(a, b)]
update ref i m = (ref, i) : filter ((/= ref) . fst) m

Post-conditions are checked after we executed an action and got a response from the implementation (via semantics).

postcondition :: Model Concrete -> Command Concrete -> Response Concrete -> Logic
postcondition (Model m) cmd resp = case (cmd, resp) of
  (Create,        Created ref) -> m' ! ref .== 0 .// "Create"
      Model m' = transition (Model m) cmd resp
  (Read ref,      ReadValue v)  -> v .== m ! ref .// "Read"
  (Write _ref _x, Written)      -> Top
  (Increment _ref, Incremented) -> Top

Next we have to explain how to generate and shrink actions.

generator :: Model Symbolic -> Maybe (Gen (Command Symbolic))
generator (Model []) = Just (pure Create)
generator model      = Just $ frequency
  [ (1, pure Create)
  , (4, Read  <$> elements (map fst model))
  , (4, Write <$> elements (map fst model) <*> arbitrary)
  , (4, Increment <$> elements (domain model))

shrinker :: Model Symbolic -> Command Symbolic -> [Command Symbolic]
shrinker _ (Write ref i) = [ Write ref i' | i' <- shrink i ]
shrinker _ _             = []

To stop the generation of new commands, e.g., when the model has reached a terminal or error state, let generator return Nothing.

Finally, we show how to mock responses given a model.

mock :: Model Symbolic -> Command Symbolic -> GenSym (Response Symbolic)
mock (Model m) cmd = case cmd of
  Create      -> Created   <$> genSym
  Read ref    -> ReadValue <$> pure (m ! ref)
  Write _ _   -> pure Written
  Increment _ -> pure Incremented

mock is a hack to make it possible for responses to have multiple reference, and an experiment which maybe one day will let us create mocked APIs. See issue #236 for further details.

Despite what is mentioned in the quoted issue, the mock function will be used when advancing the model in the Symbolic layer, in particular in two places:

  • when generating commands the model is advanced with a command generated by the model itself and the mocked response to that command (see generateCommandsState);

  • when shrinking the list of commands by mocking responses to those commands which are used to advance the model and then preconditions for the shrinked commands are checked on that advanced model (see shrinkAndValidate).

Therefore, mock must provide responses that will make the model advance on par with the implementation. Note that as responses might define fields which are expected to be used only by postcondition, those might be filled with dummy values in mock as the postcondition is called only with the Concrete response from the implementation.

To be able to fit the code on a line we pack up all of them above into a record.

sm :: Bug -> StateMachine Model Command IO Response
sm bug = StateMachine initModel transition precondition postcondition
           Nothing generator shrinker (semantics bug) mock noCleanup

We can now define a sequential property as follows.

prop_sequential :: Bug -> Property
prop_sequential bug = forAllCommands sm' Nothing $ \cmds -> monadicIO $ do
  (hist, _model, res) <- runCommands sm' cmds
  prettyCommands sm' hist (checkCommandNames cmds (res === Ok))
      sm' = sm bug

If we run the sequential property without introducing any problems to the semantics function, i.e. quickCheck (prop_sequential None), then the property passes. If we however introduce the logic bug problem, then it will fail with the minimal counterexample:

> quickCheck (prop_sequential Logic)
*** Failed! Falsifiable (after 12 tests and 2 shrinks):
  { unCommands =
      [ Command Create [ Var 0 ]
      , Command (Write (Reference (Symbolic (Var 0))) 5) []
      , Command (Read (Reference (Symbolic (Var 0)))) []

Model []

   == Create ==> Created (Reference (Concrete Opaque)) [ 0 ]

Model [+_×_ (Reference Opaque)

   == Write (Reference (Concrete Opaque)) 5 ==> Written [ 0 ]

Model [_×_ (Reference Opaque)

   == Read (Reference (Concrete Opaque)) ==> ReadValue 6 [ 0 ]

Model [_×_ (Reference Opaque) 5]

PostconditionFailed "AnnotateC \"Read\" (PredicateC (6 :/= 5))" /= Ok

Recall that the bug problem causes the write of values i `elem` [5..10] to actually write i + 1. Also notice how the diff of the model is displayed between each action.

Running the sequential property with the race condition problem will not uncover the race condition.

If we however define a parallel property as follows.

prop_parallel :: Bug -> Property
prop_parallel bug = forAllParallelCommands sm' Nothing $ \cmds -> monadicIO $ do
  prettyParallelCommands cmds =<< runParallelCommands sm' cmds
      sm' = sm bug

And run it using the race condition problem, then we’ll find the race condition:

> quickCheck (prop_parallel Race)
*** Failed! Falsifiable (after 26 tests and 6 shrinks):
  { prefix =
      Commands { unCommands = [ Command Create [ Var 0 ] ] }
  , suffixes =
      [ Pair
          { proj1 =
                { unCommands =
                    [ Command (Increment (Reference (Symbolic (Var 0)))) []
                    , Command (Read (Reference (Symbolic (Var 0)))) []
          , proj2 =
                { unCommands =
                    [ Command (Increment (Reference (Symbolic (Var 0)))) []
│ [Var 0] ← Create                                                                                │
│                                                         → Created (Reference (Concrete Opaque)) │
┌──────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │
│ [] ← Increment (Reference (Concrete Opaque)) │ │
│                                              │ │ ┌──────────────────────────────────────────────┐
│                                              │ │ │ [] ← Increment (Reference (Concrete Opaque)) │
│                                              │ │ │                                → Incremented │
│                                              │ │ └──────────────────────────────────────────────┘
│                                → Incremented │ │
└──────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │
┌──────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │
│ [] ← Read (Reference (Concrete Opaque))      │ │
│                                → ReadValue 1 │ │
└──────────────────────────────────────────────┘ │

AnnotateC "Read" (PredicateC (1 :/= 2))

However, some repetitions of this sequence of commands passed. Maybe there is a race condition?

As we can see above, a mutable reference is first created, and then in parallel (concurrently) we do two increments of said reference, and finally we read the value 1 while the model expects 2.

Recall that incrementing is implemented by first reading the reference and then writing it, if two such actions are interleaved then one of the writes might end up overwriting the other one – creating the race condition.

We shall come back to this example below, but if your are impatient you can find the full source code here.

How it works

The rough idea is that the user of the library is asked to provide:

  • a datatype of actions;
  • a datatype model;
  • pre- and post-conditions of the actions on the model;
  • a state transition function that given a model and an action advances the model to its next state;
  • a way to generate and shrink actions;
  • semantics for executing the actions.

The library then gives back a bunch of combinators that let you define a sequential and a parallel property.

Sequential property

The sequential property checks if the model is consistent with respect to the semantics. The way this is done is:

  1. generate a list of actions;

  2. starting from the initial model, for each action do the the following:

    1. check that the pre-condition holds;
    2. if so, execute the action using the semantics;
    3. check if the the post-condition holds;
    4. advance the model using the transition function.
  3. If something goes wrong, shrink the initial list of actions and present a minimal counterexample.

Parallel property

The parallel property checks if parallel execution of the semantics can be explained in terms of the sequential model. This is useful for trying to find race conditions – which normally can be tricky to test for. It works as follows:

  1. generate a list of actions and split it in two (or more) parts:

    • a first part that will be run sequentially, called the prefix (think of this as an initialisation bit that setups up some state);
    • a second part (the suffix) that will be split in sublists which will be run in parallel (see parallelSafe to understand how it determines that a sequence of commands can be run in parallel). More than one suffix can be generated, i.e. this second step can be done multiple times with the part of the generated list that doesn’t belong to the prefix.
  2. initialize the state machine if necessary (see this);

  3. execute the prefix sequentially as in the section above (checking pre- and post-conditions);

  4. execute the suffixes in parallel without checking pre/post-conditions and gather the trace (or history) of invocations and responses of each action;

                            ┌── no checks aside from ensuring no exception was thrown

                  ┌─ [C] ──┐  ┌ [F, G] ┐   ◀─╮
Commands: [A, B] ─┤        ├──┤        │     ├─ executed `concurrently`
                  └ [D, E] ┘  └ [H, I] ┘   ◀─╯

          ╰─┬──╯       ▲          ▲
            │          ╰─────┬────╯
            │                └── groups are not run in parallel
            │                    i.e [C, D, E] will run (and
            │                    finish) before F or H are
            │                    started
            └── pre/postconditions and invariant checked
                executed sequentially
  1. if something goes wrong when executing the commands, shrink the generated commands and present a minimal counterexample;

  2. otherwise, try to find a possible sequential interleaving of action invocations and responses that respects the post-conditions. For each interleaving, this is done by advancing the Concrete model (starting at initialModel) through the sequence of pairs of invocations to command Concrete and the returned response Concrete emitted at step 3, and checking the post-condition for each pair.

  3. if no possible sequential interleaving was found, then shrink the generated commands and present a minimal counterexample.

The last two steps basically try to find a linearisation of calls that could have happend on a single thread.

Notice that step 6 above introduces a subtlety in the post-condition checks and transitions for the model Concrete. Despite the system under test running in a concurrent way, the model can still be designed to work sequentially as it will not be run in parallel, it will only be advanced in a sequential way when evaluating possible interleavings. This particularly means that the model must be correct with respect to sequential execution before used in parallel testing.

As we cannot control the actual scheduling of the tasks, each sequence of commands (already fixed in a concrete prefix and a concrete list of suffixes) is actually executed several times by default, i.e. steps 2 to 7 will be executed multiple times for the same test case expecting that the scheduling of events varies between runs. One can further increase entropy by introducing random threadDelays in the semantic function.

Why is a parallel property failing?

Unless in presence of more severe bugs, parallel properties can fail because of mainly two reasons: a race condition is happening or a logic bug is present in the code. Taking advantage of the fact that we are repeating multiple times each sequence of commands, we can have some insight on which one of those cases seems to be the cause.

The parallel counterexample will show one of the following messages:

  • However, some repetitions of this sequence of commands passed. Maybe there is a race condition?: In this case as some parallel executions of a given sequence of commands have passed, it seems that the test outcome is being affected by a race condition or a non-deterministic error. This message is accurate in the sense that a logic bug will not result in some repetitions succeeding.
  • And all repetitions of this sequence of commands failed. Maybe there is a logic bug? Try with more repetitions to be sure that it happens consistently: In this case, one of two things can happen. Either there is a logic bug that is triggered always (which is what the message suggest) or we were just super unlucky (or super lucky, as we found an error) in this run and a race condition manifested in all runs. In order to rule out this last case, one can run the tests with more repetitions, which if the problem is that there is indeed a race condition, should result in the other message being printed instead.

SUT initialization

Some tests might require an environment that is used by the SUT to perform its actions, for example some mutable variable. In these cases, the environment should be isolated from other executions, and in parallel testing each sequence of commands is executed several times as noted in the previous paragraph. The way to ensure that the environment is not shared among those repetitions is by defining the state machine inside a monadic action and use the runXCommandsXWithSetup variants of the functions:

semantics :: Env -> Command Concrete -> m (Response Concrete)
semantics = ...

sm :: m (StateMachine Model Command m Response)
sm = do
  env <- initEnv {- initialize the environment -}
  pure $ StateMachine {
    , QSM.semantics = semantics env

smUnused :: StateMachine Model Command m Response
smUnused = StateMachine {
  , QSM.semantics = error "SUT must not be used during command generation or shrinking"

prop = forAllParallelCommands smUnused Nothing $ \cmds -> monadicIO $
  prettyParallelCommands cmds =<< runParallelCommandsWithSetup sm cmds

This will ensure that each execution of the testcase initializes the environment as a first step.

Note however that when running sequential properties, each test case is only executed once, therefore these two are completely equivalent:

sm :: m (StateMachine Model Command m Response)
sm = do
  env <- initEnv {- initialize the environment -}
  pure $ StateMachine {
    , QSM.semantics = semantics env

smUnused :: StateMachine Model Command m Response
smUnused = StateMachine {
  , QSM.semantics = error "SUT must not be used during command generation or shrinking"

prop = forAllCommands smUnused $ \cmds -> monadicIO $
  (hist, _model, res) <- runCommandsWithSetup sm cmds
  prettyCommands smUnused hist (checkCommandNames cmds (res === Ok))


sm :: Env -> StateMachine Model Command m Response
sm env = StateMachine {
    , QSM.semantics = semantics env

smUnused :: StateMachine Model Command m Response
smUnused = StateMachine {
  , QSM.semantics = error "SUT must not be used during command generation or shrinking"

prop = forAllCommands smUnused $ \cmds -> monadicIO $
  env <- initEnv {- initialize the environment -}
  (hist, _model, res) <- runCommands (sm env) cmds
  prettyCommands smUnused hist (checkCommandNames cmds (res === Ok))

More examples

Here are some more examples to get you started:

  • The water jug problem from Die Hard 3 – this is a simple example of a specification where we use the sequential property to find a solution (counterexample) to a puzzle from an action movie. Note that this example has no meaningful semantics, we merely model-check. It might be helpful to compare the solution to the Hedgehog solution and the TLA+ solution;

  • The Tower of Hanoi puzzle – this example uses property based testing in a very similar manner to the Die Hard example to find a solution to the classic Tower of Hanoi puzzle;

  • Mutable reference example – this is a bigger example that shows both how the sequential property can find normal bugs, and how the parallel property can find race conditions;

  • Circular buffer example – another example that shows how the sequential property can find help find different kind of bugs. This example is borrowed from the paper Testing the Hard Stuff and Staying Sane [PDF, video]. For a more direct translation from the paper, see the following variant which uses the C FFI;

  • The union-find example – an imperative implementation of the union-find algorithm. It could be useful to compare the solution to the one that appears in the paper Testing Monadic Code with QuickCheck [PS], which the Test.QuickCheck.Monadic module is based on;

  • Ticket dispenser example – a simple example where the parallel property is used once again to find a race condition. The semantics in this example uses a simple database file that needs to be setup and cleaned up. This example also appears in the Testing a Database for Race Conditions with QuickCheck and Testing the Hard Stuff and Staying Sane [PDF, video] papers;

  • CRUD webserver where create returns unique ids example – create, read, update and delete users in a postgres database on a webserver using an API written using Servant. Creating a user will return a unique id, which subsequent reads, updates, and deletes need to use. In this example, unlike in the last one, the server is setup and torn down once per property rather than generate program;

  • Bookstore example – another database application, that uses simple SQL queries to manage a bookstore. It is based on a case study in Erlang from online version of Fred Hebert’s PropEr Testing book;

  • Process registry example – an example often featured in the Erlang QuickCheck papers. This example shows how one can tag the specification with which requirements are covered and then generate (minimal) examples of test cases that cover each requirement, as shown in the How well are your requirements tested? [PDF] and Understanding Formal Specifications through Good Examples [PDF, video] papers.

All properties from the examples can be found in the Spec module located in the test directory.

To get a better feel for the examples it might be helpful to git clone this repo, cd into it, fire up cabal repl test, load the different examples, e.g. :l test/CrudWebserverDb.hs, and run the different properties interactively.

Real world examples

More examples from the “real world”:

  • IOHK are using a state machine models in several places. For example here is a test of a mock file system that they in turn use to simulate file system errors when testing a blockchain database. The following blog post describes their tests in more detail;

  • Wire are using a state machine model to test the lower bound of running threads in their push notification system;

  • Adjoint’s (now abandoned?) implementation of the Raft consensus algorithm, contains state machine tests combined with fault injection (node and network failures).

How to contribute

The quickcheck-state-machine library is still very experimental.

We would like to encourage users to try it out, and join the discussion of how we can improve it on the issue tracker!

See also

  • The QuickCheck bugtrack issue – where the initial discussion about how to add state machine based testing to QuickCheck started;

  • John Hughes’ Midlands Graduate School 2019 course on property-based testing, which covers the basics of state machine modelling and testing. It also contains a minimal implementation of a state machine testing library built on top of Haskell’s QuickCheck;

  • Finding Race Conditions in Erlang with QuickCheck and PULSE [PDF, video] – this is the first paper to describe how Erlang’s QuickCheck works (including the parallel testing);

  • Linearizability: a correctness condition for concurrent objects [PDF, TLA+ formalisation], this is a classic paper that describes the main technique of the parallel property;

  • Aphyr’s blogposts about Jepsen, which also uses the linearisability technique, and has found bugs in many distributed systems:

  • The use of state machines to model and verify properties about programs is quite well-established, as witnessed by several books on the subject:

    • Specifying Systems: The TLA+ Language and Tools for Hardware and Software Engineers. Parts of this book are also presented by the author, Leslie Lamport, in the following video course;

    • Modeling in Event-B: System and Software Engineering. Parts of this book are covered in the following (video) course given at Microsoft Research by the author, Jean-Raymond Abrial, himself:

      • Lecture 1: introduction to modelling and Event-B (chapter 1 of the book) and start of “controlling cars on bridge” example (chapter 2);

      • Lecture 2: refining the “controlling cars on a bridge” example (sections 2.6 and 2.7);

      • Lecture 3: design patterns and the “mechanical press controller” example (chapter 3);

      • Lecture 4: sorting algorithm example (chapter 15);

      • Lecture 5: designing sequential programs (chapter 15);

      • Lecture 6: status report of the hypervisor that Microsoft Research are developing using Event-B.

    • Abstract State Machines: A Method for High-Level System Design and Analysis.

    The books contain general advice how to model systems using state machines, and are hence relevant to us. For shorter texts on why state machines are important for modelling, see:

  • Other similar libraries:

    • Erlang QuickCheck, eqc, the first property based testing library to have support for state machines (closed source);

    • The Erlang library PropEr is eqc-inspired, open source, and has support for state machine testing;

    • The Haskell library Hedgehog, also has support for state machine based testing;

    • ScalaCheck, likewise has support for state machine based testing (no parallel property);

    • The Python library Hypothesis, also has support for state machine based testing (no parallel property).

History and current status

This library was originally developed while I was working at ATS Advanced Telematic Systems GmbH between 2017 and 2018. In 2018 HERE Europe B.V acquired ATS and took over control over the advancedtelematic GitHub organisation. I left HERE in 2019 and in 2021 they archived the old quickcheck-state-machine repo making it read-only – that’s when this fork was created.

I no longer use quickcheck-state-machine on a daily basis, and have no plans for making any major changes. That said, I consider the library fairly feature complete and stable and I’m happy to do minor maintenance work. I’m also happy to help and mentor anyone willing to take on a more active development role.


BSD-style (see the file LICENSE).


0.8.0 (2023-11-17)

  • BREAKING CHANGE: Remove markov-chain-usage-model dependency and the related Test.StateMachine.Markov module. The tests of the dependency started failing: https://github.com/advancedtelematic/markov-chain-usage-model/issues/44 , and I don’t think anyone is using that functionality anyway, so I decided to remove it (please let me know if this breaks your tests);

  • Disable ProcessRegistry test for now, the generator needs to be migrated away from using the removed Markov module;

  • Remove RQLite test as it was causing build issues with newer versions of GHC;

  • Add support for newer versions of GHC (9.2.8, 9.4.7, and 9.6.3);

  • Remove support for GHC 8.4.4, we need QuantifiedConstraints to build latest version of servant;

  • Remove support for GHC 8.6.5 (released 23rd April 2019);

  • Remove stack support;

  • Add nix support;

  • Add back CI support via GitHub Actions (remove old travis config);

  • Remove the tree-diff dependency, and copy in the relevant bits that we need from the version instead. The reason for this is that after that version the license was changed from BSD to GPL and pinning the dependency to that version doesn’t compile with newer GHC versions, by inlining tree-diff we are in control of its dependecy bounds (and can thus make it compile with newer versions of GHC).

0.7.3 (2023-6-1)

  • Fix compatibility with GHC 9.6 (PR #20, thanks @erikd);

  • Fix printing of boxed diagrams of parallel properties (PR #21);

  • Parallel properties will now show a message indicating what looks like it could be the cause of the property failing (PR #21).

0.7.2 (2023-4-20)

  • Fix compatibility with GHC 9.0 and 9.2 (PR #7, thanks @edsko);

  • Various documentation improvements (PR #9, #10 and #13, thanks @Jasagredo);

  • Introduce new runXCommandsXWithSetup which allow for monadic initialization of the state machine for each test case execution (PR #12, thanks @Jasagredo).

0.7.1 (2021-8-17)

  • Update links and references from the old archived repo at the advancedtelematic Github organisation to the active fork of the repo at the Github user stevana.

0.7.0 (2020-3-17)

  • Add Stack resolver lts-15 and drop lts-11;

  • High-level interface to the state machine API (PR #355) – this captures the patterns described in http://www.well-typed.com/blog/2019/01/qsm-in-depth/ as a proper Haskell abstraction;

  • Experimental support for Markov chain-base command generation and reliability calculations;

  • forAllParallelCommands now gets another argument with type Maybe Int, indicating the minimum number of commands we want a test case to have. Nothing provides old functionality;

  • Fixed a bug in the parallel case for the mock function (PR #348) and other bugs related to references in the parallel case;

  • Add a new field in the StateMachine called cleanup. This function can be used to ensure resources are cleaned between tests. noCleanup can be used to achieve the older functionality;

  • Improved labelling;

  • Generalize parallelism, so that more than two threads can be used (PR #324);

  • Option to print dot visualisation of failed examples;

  • Handle exceptions better and provide better output.

0.6.0 (2019-1-15)

This is a breaking release. See mentioned PRs for how to upgrade your code, and feel free to open an issue if anything isn’t clear.

  • Generalise shrinking so that it might depend on the model (PR #263);

  • Drop support for GHC 8.0.* or older, by requiring base >= 4.10 (PR #267). If you need support for older GHC versions, open a ticket;

  • Use Stack resolver lts-13 as default (PR #261);

  • Generalise the GConName type class to make it possible to use it for commands that cannot have Generic1 instances. Also rename the type class to CommandNames (PR #259).

0.5.0 (2019-1-4)

The first and third item in the below list might break things, have a look at the diffs of the PRs on how to fix your code (feel free to open an issue if it isn’t clear).

  • Allow the user to explicitly stop the generation of commands (PR #256);
  • Fix shrinking bug (PR #255);
  • Replace MonadBaseControl IO with MonadUnliftIO (PR #252);
  • Check if the pre-condition holds before executing an action (PR #251).

0.4.3 (2018-12-7)

  • Support QuickCheck-2.12.*;
  • Use new compact diffing of records from tree-diff library when displaying counterexamples;
  • Explain mock better in the README;
  • Handle exceptions more gracefully;
  • Show, possibly multiple, counterexample when parallel property fails.

0.4.2 (2018-9-3)

  • Fix bug that made tests fail on systems without docker;
  • Remove some unused dependencies found by the weeder tool.

0.4.1 (2018-8-31)

  • Minor fixes release:

    • Fix broken link and code in README;
    • Disable web server tests when docker isn’t available (issue #222).

0.4.0 (2018-8-21)

  • Major rewrite, addressing many issues:

    • The output of sequential runs now shows a diff of how the model changed in each step (related to issue #77);

    • The datatype of actions was renamed to commands and no longer is a GADT (discussed in issue #170, also makes issue #196 obsolete);

    • Commands can now return multiple references (issue #197);

    • Global invariants can now more easily be expressed (issue #200);

    • Counterexamples are now printed when post-conditions fail (issue #172).

0.3.1 (2018-1-15)

  • Remove upper bounds for dependencies, to easier keep up with Stackage nightly.

0.3.0 (2017-12-15)

  • A propositional logic module was added to help provide better counterexamples when pre- and post-conditions don’t hold;

  • Generation of parallel programs was improved (base on a comment by Hans Svensson about how Erlang QuickCheck does it);

  • Support for semantics that might fail was added;

  • Pretty printing of counterexamples was improved.


  • Z-inspired definition of relations and associated operations were added to help defining concise and showable models;

  • Template Haskell derivation of shrink and type classes: Show, Constructors, HFunctor, HFoldable, HTraversable;

  • New and more flexible combinators for building sequential and parallel properties replaced the old clunky ones;

  • Circular buffer example was added;

  • Two examples of how to test CRUD web applications were added.


  • The API was simplified, thanks to ideas stolen from Hedgehog.


  • Initial release.