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Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems - ICDCS '93 (1993)
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
May 25, 1993 to May 28, 1993
ISBN: 0-8186-3770-6
pp: 264-273
B.N. Bershad , Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA
ABSTRACT
An important class of concurrent objects are those that are nonblocking, that is, whose operations are not contained within mutually exclusive critical sections. A nonblocking object can be accessed by many threads at a time, yet update protocols based on atomic compare-and-swap operations can be used to guarantee the object's consistency. The author examines the compare-and-swap operation in the content of contemporary bus-based shared memory multiprocessors, although the results generalize to distributed shared memory multiprocessors. He describes an operating system-based solution that permits the construction of a nonblocking compare-and-swap function on architectures that only support more primitive atomic primitives such as test-and-set or atomic exchange. Several locking strategies are evaluated that can be used to synthesize a compare-and-swap operation, and it is shown that the common techniques for reducing synchronization overhead in the presence of contention are inappropriate when used as the basis for nonblocking synchronization. A simple synchronization strategy is described that has good performance because it avoids much of the synchronization overhead that normally occurs when there is contention.<>
INDEX TERMS
concurrency control, operating systems (computers), protocols, shared memory systems, synchronisation
CITATION

B. Bershad, "Practical considerations for non-blocking concurrent objects," Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems - ICDCS '93(ICDCS), Pittsburgh, PA, USA, , pp. 264-273.
doi:10.1109/ICDCS.1993.287700
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