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Types for Atomicity Authors: Cormac Flanagan, UC Santa Cruz Stephen Freund, Marina Lifshin, Williams College Shaz Qadeer, Microsoft Research Presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "Types for Atomicity Authors: Cormac Flanagan, UC Santa Cruz Stephen Freund, Marina Lifshin, Williams College Shaz Qadeer, Microsoft Research Presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Types for Atomicity Authors: Cormac Flanagan, UC Santa Cruz Stephen Freund, Marina Lifshin, Williams College Shaz Qadeer, Microsoft Research Presentation by Anton Wolkov for Seminar in Distributed Algorithms Spring 2013

2 Subject of this paper A way to simplify verification of programs with arbitrarily-interleaved threads accessing common resources by introducing an extension to the Java type system with special notations. The notation writing task itself is simplified by introducing special type inference system. Finally using a prototype checker on benchmark code we show the usefulness of this type system.

3 What problems are we addressing? Multi-threaded Java programs are hard to verify manually, because they can misbehave when non atomic operations with write operations on common resources are interleaved in unexpected ways. Even existing Java libraries exhibit subtle flaws after years of community and internal QA. We would much rather manually verify a serial execution of a multi-threaded program.

4 Race Conditions What is a race condition? A race condition occurs when two threads simultaneously access the same data variable, and at least one of the accesses is a write. A lot of work has been done in detecting these types of flaws with static and dynamic analysis and there are decent tools for detecting these errors in Java.

5 Current solutions to race condition There are methods and tools to detect race conditions in multi-threaded Java applications Is a race condition free program good enough? Is there a serial execution equivalent with the same result as any other interleaved execution? 1 C. Flanagan and S. Freund. Type-based race detection for Java. In Proceedings of the Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, pages 219–232, 2000.

6 Race Condition (2) Is a race condition free program good enough? No. For example: acquire(l); t := x; release(l); t := t + 1; acquire(l); x := t; release(l); This code by definition is race condition free. What is a race condition? A race condition occurs when two threads simultaneously access the same data variable, and at least one of the accesses is a write.

7 Race Condition (3) acquire(l); t := x; release(l); t := t + 1; acquire(l); x := t; release(l); If this code is executed 5 times with random thread interleaving the value of x can be incremented by any value between 1 and 5. What we would like to use is a stronger term we call atomicity. What is a race condition? A race condition occurs when two threads simultaneously access the same data variable, and at least one of the accesses is a write.

8 Introducing Atomicity Obviously we do not require the entire program to be serially executed in a multi-threaded environment, so instead we would like to have some individual methods to be safe and atomic. What is atomicity? A method is atomic if, for every execution, there is an equivalent serial execution in which the actions of the method are not interleaved with actions of other threads.

9 Introducing Atomicity Cont'd. Thread scheduler is still free to interleave but, any interaction between threads are benign or has negative affect (access to common resources is "safe").

10 In layman's terms If a method is atomic we can assume that even if it will interleaved with other code it will still act the same way it would in a serial execution. This covers race conditions but provides a stronger guarantee. Atomic Race Condition Free

11 Motivation for atomicity What is it good for? Multi-threaded applications are prevalent. Thread interleavings are really hard for programmers. Flaws are commonly missed during development and code reviews. Previous efforts were invested in avoiding race conditions, but race condition free programs still may fail spectacularly in edge cases.

12 An example cl ass Account { int balance = 0; synchronized int read() { return balance; } synchronized void set(int b) { balance = b; } void deposit (int amount) { int b = read(); set(b + amount); }

13 An example cl ass Account { int balance = 0; synchronized int read() { return balance; } synchronized void set(int b) { balance = b; } void deposit (int amount) { int b = read(); set(b + amount); } If a new thread comes along and modifies balance here we will set the new balance to a wrong value.

14 An example cl ass Account { int balance = 0; synchronized int read() { return balance; } synchronized void set(int b) { balance = b; } void deposit (int amount) { int b = read(); set(b + amount); } This is not a race condition since we do not access balance concurrently.

15 Synchronized vs. Atomic The synchronized keyword in java is too restrictive. An object wide statement, does not handle escapes. Too harsh. All other synchronized methods in the object are stopped from executing (serial execution). We would like the same bottom line without sacrificing thread interleaving completely.

16 Why a type system? Programs are large, and we don't want to check it whole. Type system provides modularity for the checker. We also want to guarantee our libraries are safe for any use.

17 Verification using keywords We introduce a formal multi-threaded subset of Java language we call AtomicJava. Each atomic method should be notated with the keyword atomic and an appropriate level of atomicity, including the conditions are locks that are in place.

18 Quick Reminder: Theory of right and left movers An action a is a right mover if for any execution where the action a performed by one thread is immediately followed by an action b of a different thread, the actions a and b can be swapped without changing the resulting state S 3.

19 Theory of right and left movers Similarly, an action b is a left mover if whenever b immediately follows an action a of a different thread, the actions a and b can be swapped, again without changing the resulting state.

20 Example of an atomic method synchronized void inc() { int t = x; x = t + 1; } The keyword synchronized instructs Java to hold a lock on this for the duration of the method.

21 Example of an atomic method We denote the acquisition of the lock acq and rel for the release. Suppose that the actions of this method are interleaved with arbitrary actions X 1, X 2, and X 3 of other threads synchronized void inc() { int t = x; x = t + 1; }

22 Example of an atomic method Because the acq operation is a right mover and the write and rel operations are left movers, there exists an equivalent serial execution where the operations of the method are not interleaved with operations of other threads (see illustration above). Thus the method is atomic. synchronized void inc() { int t = x; x = t + 1; }

23 Theory of right and left movers cont. a lock-acquire operation is a right mover a lock-release operation is a left mover If a variable must be held by a lock to be accessed the operation has (both) right and left movers. In Java this is true to all synchronized methods since it does both lock-acquire and lock-release operations. In short we will call right and left movers - movers.

24 Theory of right and left movers cont. More generally, suppose a method contains a sequence of right movers followed by a single atomic action followed by a sequence of left movers. Then an execution where this method has been fully executed can be reduced to another execution with the same resulting state here the method is executed serially without any interleaved actions by other threads. Therefore, an atomic annotation on such a method is valid.

25 AtomicJava We base our formal development on the language AtomicJava, a multi-threaded subset of Java with a type system for atomicity.

26 AtomicJava keywords Each eld declaration includes a field guard g that species the synchronization discipline for that eld. The possible guards are: final - the eld cannot be written to after initialization guarded_by l - the lock denoted by the lock expression l must be held on all accesses (reads or writes) of that eld write_guarded_by l - the lock denoted by the lock expression l must be held on all writes of that eld, but not for reads. no_guard - the eld can be read or written at any time. Useful to denote fields with intentional race conditions.

27 AtomicJava parameterized classes class cn {... } Classes now have a binding for the ghost variables x 1...x n, which can be referred to from type annotations within the class body. The type cn refers to an instantiated version of cn where each x i in the body is replaced by the lock expression l i.

28 AtomicJava parameterized methods atomicity type method cn (t 1 y 1 t 2 y 2... t m y m ) {... } Defines a method method of return type type that is parameterized by a ghost locks x 1...x n and takes arguments of types t 1...t m with corresponding values y 1...y m. atomicity is a keyword (like atomic) which we will define next.

29 AtomicJava parameterized methods atomicity type method cn (t 1 y 1 t 2 y 2... t m y m ) {... } Here, we note that the atomicity a may refer to program variables in scope, including this, the ghost parameters of the containing class, and normal parameters of the method itself.

30 AtomicJava synchronized methods sync l {... } Acquires lock l, execute the expression inside, and finally release lock l. This is similar to synchronized in "regular" Java only here we get to specify the lock (and synchronized always chooses this ). A forked thread does not inherit locks held by its parent thread.

31 AtomicJava fork e.fork Starts a new thread starting with (object) e 's run method with a single ghost parameter. The fork operation spawns a new thread that, conceptually, acquires a new thread-local lock tll for instantiating the ghost parameter to the method run. This lock is always held by the new thread and may therefore be used by run to guard thread-local data, and it may be passed as a ghost parameter to other methods that access thread-local data.

32 AtomicJava - everything else Other expressions in the language include eld read and update, method calls, variable binding and reference, conditionals, loops, and synchronized blocks. We include basic types for both single-wordints and double- wordlongs. Only reads and writes of the former are atomic. Reads and writes of object references are also atomic.

33 Types of Atomicity - Levels const o The atomicity const describes any expression whose evaluation does not depend on or change any mutable state. Hence the repeated evaluation of a const expression with a given environment always yields the same result. o i.e. a method returns a constant. mover atomic cmpd error

34 Types of Atomicity - Levels const mover o The atomicity mover describes any expression that both left and right commutes with operations of other threads. o i.e. if access to a eld f declared as guarded_by l and the access is performed with the lock l held. atomic cmpd error

35 Types of Atomicity - Levels const mover atomic o The atomicity atomic describes any expression that is a single atomic action, or that can be considered to execute without interleaved actions of other threads cmpd error

36 Types of Atomicity - Levels const mover atomic cmpd o The atomicity cmpd describes compound expression for which none of the preceding atomicities apply. o i.e. sequential atomic ops not guarded by a lock error

37 Types of Atomicity - Levels const mover atomic cmpd error o The atomicity error describes any expression violating the locking discipline specied by the type annotations.

38 Hierarchy of basic atomicity const mover atomic cmpd error

39 Sequential composition operations of atomicity levels ; (as in b;c ) denotes sequential composition

40 Conditional atomicity In some cases, the atomicity of an expression depends on the locks held by the thread evaluating that expression. For instance, if we hold lock 1 we have a mover, otherwise we have a problem. Formal notation: (lock 1 ? mover : error) A conditional atomicity (l ? a 1 : a 2 ) is equivalent to atomicity a 1 if the lock l is currently held, and it is equivalent to a 2 if the lock is not held.

41 Atomicity - Formal definition Each atomicity level can be basic or condition:

42 Atomicity closure For example: Meaning: if lock l 1 is held we have a mover, if lock l 2 is held but not l 1 we have an atomic op, otherwise we have a violation of thread safety.

43 Atomicity levels formal notation Let b;c denote the sequential composition of b and later c Let b* denote the iterative closure of b. Let denote the join operator based on this subatomicity ordering. If basic atomicities b 1 and b 2 reect the behavior of e 1 and e 2 respectively, then the nondeterministic choice between executing either e 1 or e 2 has atomicity b 1 b 2.

44 Conditional atomicity with lock sets We denote (|b|)(ls) = b where b is a conditional atomicity and ls is a set of locks, to be equivalent to: b = l ? a 1 : a 2 Meaning: for every lock in the set our atomicity is a 1 and a 2 for every lock that is not.

45 Atomicity levels calculus Extension of iterative closure, sequential composition, and join operations to conditional atomicities

46 Theorem 1 Extension of iterative closure, sequential composition, and join operations to conditional atomicities with lock sets (|a 1 * |)(ls)=((|a 1 |)(ls))* (|a 1 ;a 2 |)(ls)=(|a 1 |)(ls);(|a 2 |)(ls) (|a 1a 2 |)=(|a 1 |)(ls)(|a 2 |)(ls)

47 Conditional subatomicity ordering We now extend the subatomicity ordering to conditional atomicities. Assume h is a set of locks held by the current thread and n is a set of locks not held by the current thread. Intuitively, the condition a 1 n h a 2 holds if and only if (|a 1 * |)(ls)(|a 2 * |)(ls) holds for every lockset ls that contains h and is disjoint from n.

48 Conditional sub- atomicity ordering Formally, we define a 1 a 2 to be a 1 a and check recursively: The condition a 1 n h a 2 holds if and only if (|a 1 * |)(ls)(|a 2 * |)(ls) holds for every lockset ls that contains h and is disjoint from n.

49 Theorem 2 For all atomicities a 1 and a 2 : a 1 a 2 ls: (|a 1 |)(ls)(|a 2 |)(ls) If a 1, a 2 are not conditional this is trivial because ls: (|a|)(ls) = a and a is non conditional

50 Atomicity Equivalent Atomicities a 1 and a 2 are equivalent ( a 1a 2 ) if a 1 a 2 and a 2 a 1 and thus: a 1a 2 ls: (|a 1 |)(ls)(|a 2 |)(ls)

51 Figure III

52 Figure IV

53 List Example class ListElem { int num guarded_by x; ListElem next guarded_by x; (x ? mover : error) int get() { return this.num; } } class List { ListElem elems guarded_by this; (this ? mover : atomic) void add (int v) { sync (this) { this.elems = new ListElem (v, this.elems); } atomic void addPair(int i, int j) { this.add(i); this.add(j); } (this ? mover : atomic) int get() { sync (this) { return this.elems.get(); } const mover atomic cmpd error

54 List Example class ListElem { int num guarded_by x; ListElem next guarded_by x; (x ? mover : error) int get() { return this.num; } } num and next are guarded by lock x (external to the class). If x is not held get() is an error, otherwise it's a mover as it's return value may vary depending on it's position in concurrent threads. const mover atomic cmpd error

55 List Example class ListElem { int num guarded_by x; ListElem next guarded_by x; (x ? mover : error) int get() { return this.num; } } class List { ListElem elems guarded_by this; (this ? mover : atomic) void add (int v) { sync (this) { this.elems = new ListElem (v, this.elems); } atomic void addPair(int i, int j) { this.add(i); this.add(j); } (this ? mover : atomic) int get() { sync (this) { return this.elems.get(); } const mover atomic cmpd error get() is synchronized (holds this for the duration of the method) which makes it atomic, if this is already held we can upgrade it to a mover.

56 List Example - What's wrong? class ListElem { int num guarded_by x; ListElem next guarded_by x; (x ? mover : error) int get() { return this.num; } } class List { ListElem elems guarded_by this; (this ? mover : atomic) void add (int v) { sync (this) { this.elems = new ListElem (v, this.elems); } atomic void addPair(int i, int j) { this.add(i); this.add(j); } (this ? mover : atomic) int get() { sync (this) { return this.elems.get(); } const mover atomic cmpd error

57 List Example Corrected class ListElem { int num guarded_by x; ListElem next guarded_by x; (x ? mover : error) int get() { return this.num; } } class List { ListElem elems guarded_by this; (this ? mover : atomic) void add (int v) { sync (this) { this.elems = new ListElem (v, this.elems); } (this ? mover : cmpd) void addPair(int i, int j) { this.add(i); // (this ? mover : atomic) ; this.add(j); // (this ? mover : atomic) this.add(j); // = (this ? mover : atomic;atomic) this.add(j); // = (this ? mover : cmpd) } (this ? mover : atomic) int get() { sync (this) { return this.elems.get(); } const mover atomic cmpd error

58 Manual Annotation The authors manually annotated parts of the JDK and then ran a prototype verifier.

59 Actual Findings In JDK StringBuffer's methods are documented to be atomic. StringBuffer uses lock based synchronization to achieve atomicity. Using a prototype checker that supports the full functionalities of Java including inheritance we found a failed atomicity type check in the method append(StringBuffer sb).

60 The method calls tosb.length() and sb.getChars(...) - both specied to have atomicity atomic, making the overall atomicity be cmpd.

61 More findings - java.lang.String This defect was xed in the release by having contentEquals(StringBuffer sb) acquire the lock on sb for the duration of the method call.

62 False positives The method String.hashCode() is also not atomic because it caches the hashcode for the String object in an unprotected eld. However, this can only result in redundant hash recomputations and not erroneous behavior. Analysis techniques that abstract away benign atomicity violations can eliminate some spurious warnings like this one.

63 More findings - java.lang.Vector interface Collection { /*# this ? mover : atomic */ int size(); /*# this ? mover : atomic */ Object[] toArray(Object a[]); } class Vector... { Object elementData[] /*# guarded by this */; int elementCount /*# guarded by this */; // does not type check: /*# atomic */ Vector(Collection c) { elementCount = c.size(); elementData = new Object[Math.min((elementCount*110L)/100, Integer.MAX VALUE)]; c.toArray(elementData); }... }

64 More findings - java.lang.Vector The Vector constructor should set elementCount to the size of its argument c and copy the contents of c into the newly- created array elementData. However, since the lock c is not held between the calls to c.size() and c.toArray(...), another thread could concurrently modify c, resulting either in an improperly initialized Vector or an ArrayIndexOutOfBounds exception.

65 More findings - java.lang.Vector #2 public class Vector... { /*# this ? mover : atomic */ public void synchronized removeElementAt(int index) {... } /*# this ? mover : atomic */ public int indexOf(Object elem) {... }... /*# this ? mover : atomic */ public synchronized boolean removeElement(Object obj) {... int i = indexOf(obj); if (i >= 0) { removeElementAt(i); return true; } return false; }

66 public abstract class Writer { // The object used to synchronize // operations on this stream. protected Object lock; Writer() { this.lock = this; } /*# lock ? mover : atomic */ public void write(int ch) {... } /*# lock ? mover : atomic */ public void write(String str) {... }... } // Does not type check! public class PrintWriter extends Writer { protected Writer out; public PrintWriter(Writer out) { super(); this.out = out; } public void print(int x) { synchronized (lock) { out.write(Integer.toString(x)) ; } public void println() { synchronized (lock) { out.write(lineSeparator); } public void println(int x) { synchronized (lock) { print(x); println(); } out.lock ? (lock ? mover : atomic) : atomic out.lock ? (lock ? mover : atomic) : cmpd

67 Type Inference for Atomicity Our type checker provides fairly promising results, but it does require the programmer to fully annotate the code. We've seen the amount of annotations required is fairly high and complex. To address this shortcoming, we now develop a type inference algorithm for atomicity.

68 Type Inference for Atomicity Algorithm Overview Two stage run: Infer locks (if any) protect each field using Rcc/Sat reduction to propositional satisfiability. Infer the most precise atomicity for each method, using a constraint-based analysis.

69 Atomicity Extensions for Type Inference We now introduce an atomicity variable α. An open atomicity s is either an (explicit) atomicity a or an atomicity variable α.

70 Type Inference Demo 1.infer guarded_by 2.infer class parameters 3.insert atomicity vars

71 Implementation We have extended the type checker with inference. We've managed to avoid exponential explosion by reducing duplicate subterms. Consider the sequential composition of two conditional atomicities: (l ? a 1 : a 2 ) ; (l ? a 3 : a 4 ) become l ? (l ? a 1 ;a 3 ) : (l ? a 1 ;a 4 ) : (l ? (a 2 ;a 3 ) : (a 2 ;a 4 ))

72 Avoiding exponential explosion Using the following simplification rules l ? (l ? a 1 ;a 3 ) : (l ? a 1 ;a 4 ) : (l ? (a 2 ;a 3 ) : (a 2 ;a 4 )) becomes (l ? a 1 ; a 3 ) : (l ? a 2 ; a 4 )

73 Benchmarks

74 Limitations A programmer must annotate correctly, otherwise the checker will not be very useful. Example: The programmer wrongly assumed only synchronized methods should be atomic:

75 Limitations Cont'd. Clearly deposit should be atomic as well but due to the lack of annotations the checker will not warn about this.

76 Conclusion Atomicity can be expressed using a type system. Atomicity is not the same as race conditions. We can build an effective automatic checker for this type of system. We can reduce a lot of manual labour by automatically inferring atomicity.

77 Questions?


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