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Reactive multiword synchronization for multiprocessors

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2 Author(s)
Ha, P.H. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Chalmers Univ. of Technol., Goteborg, Sweden ; Tsigas, P.

Shared memory multiprocessor systems typically provide a set of hardware primitives in order to support synchronization. Generally, they provide single-word read-modify-write hardware primitives such as compare-and-swap, load-linked/store-conditional and fetch-and-op, from which the higher-level synchronization operations are then implemented in software. Although the single-word hardware primitives are conceptually powerful enough to support higher-level synchronization, from the programmer's point of view they are not as useful as their generalizations to the multiword objects. We present two fast and reactive lock-free multiword compare-and-swap algorithms. The algorithms dynamically measure the level of contention as well as the memory conflicts of the multiword compare-and-swap operations, and in response, they react accordingly in order to guarantee good performance in a wide range of system conditions. The algorithms are nonblocking (lock-free), allowing in this way fast dynamical behavior. Experiments on thirty processors of a SGI Origin2000 multiprocessor show that both our algorithms react fast according to the contention variations and perform from two to nine times faster than the best known alternatives in all contention conditions.

Published in:

Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques, 2003. PACT 2003. Proceedings. 12th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

27 Sept.-1 Oct. 2003