Getting started with the CVC4 API

The main classes of the CVC4 API are:

  • CVC4::Expr - an expression (a formula, term, variable, constant, etc.)
  • CVC4::Type - a type (every Expr has a Type)
  • CVC4::ExprManager - a factory class for Exprs and Types (create one of these for your application)
  • CVC4::SmtEngine - the SMT interface, permits making assertions and checking satisfiability (create one of these for your application)

There are numerous examples of the use of the C++ API in the examples/api directory of the CVC4 source distribution. There is also a discussion on our CVC4 Wiki at

Using the CVC4 API from Java

While these API documentation resources explicitly refer to the C++ interface, the Java interface is generated automatically from the C++ sources by SWIG, and thus the interface is almost line-by-line identical in Java. It is possible, then, to use these C++ resources to help with the Java API. There are three main ways in which the Java API differs from the C++ API. First, the CVC4 API makes moderate use of C++ operator overloading, which is not possible in Java. We have provided standard renamings for the Java methods associated to these C++ overloaded operators—for instance, "plus" replaces operator+, "equals" replaces operator==, etc.

Secondly, C++ iterators are replaced by Java iterators. Instead of begin() and end() on classes like CVC4::Expr, you'll notice in the Java interface that there is an iterator() method that returns a java.util.Iterator<Expr>. This allows Java developers to more naturally work with our (ultimately C++) objects through a more Java-like interface.

Third, I/O streams are wrapped so that some functions requiring C++ input and output streams will accept Java InputStreams and OutputStreams.

Our intent is to make the C++ API as useful and functional for Java developers as possible, while still retaining the flexibility of our original C++ design. If we can make your life as a Java user of our libraries easier, please let us know by requesting an enhancement or reporting a bug at our bug-tracking service,

For examples of Java programs using the CVC4 API, look in the directory examples/api/java in the CVC4 source distribution.

Thank you for your interest in CVC4!

The CVC4 Development team