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E81 CSE 532S: Advanced Multi-Paradigm Software Development Chris Gill Department of Computer Science and Engineering Washington University in St. Louis.

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Presentation on theme: "E81 CSE 532S: Advanced Multi-Paradigm Software Development Chris Gill Department of Computer Science and Engineering Washington University in St. Louis."— Presentation transcript:

1 E81 CSE 532S: Advanced Multi-Paradigm Software Development Chris Gill Department of Computer Science and Engineering Washington University in St. Louis C++11 Lock-free Data Structures

2 Lock-Free and Wait-Free Semantics Lock-free behavior never blocks (but may live-lock) –Suspension of one thread doesn’t impede others’ progress –Tries to do something, if cannot just tries again –E.g., while(head.compare_exchange_weak(n->next,n)); Wait-free behavior never starves a thread –Progress of each is guaranteed (bounded number of retries) Lock-free data structures try for maximum concurrency –E.g., ensuring some thread makes progress at every step –May not be strictly wait-free but that’s something to aim for Watch out for performance costs in practice –E.g., atomic operations are slower, may not be worth it –Some platforms may not relax memory consistency well

3 Lock-Free Stack Case Study Even simplest version of push requires careful design –Allocate/initialize, then swap pointers via atomic operations Need to deal with memory reclamation –Three strategies: thread counts, hazard pointers, ref counts Memory models offer potential performance gains –E.g., if relaxed or acquire/release consistency is in fact weaker on the particular platform for which you’re developing –Need to profile that, e.g., as we did in the previous studio Resulting lock free stack design is a good approach –E.g., Listing 7.12 in [Williams] –Please feel free to use (with appropriate citation comments) in your labs (we’ll code this up in the studio exercises)

4 Lock-Free Queue Case Study Contention differs in lock-free queue vs. stack –Enqueue/dequeue contention depends on how many nodes are in the queue, whereas push/pop contend unless empty –Synchronization needs (and thus design) are different Application use cases also come into play –E.g., single-producer single-consumer queue is much simpler and may be all that is needed in some cases –Service configuration, template meta-programming, other approaches can enforce necessary properties of its use Multi-thread-safe enqueue and dequeue operations –Modifications (to e.g., reference-counting) may be needed –May need to use work-stealing to be lock free (!)

5 Lock Free Design Guidelines Prototype data structures using sequential consistency –Then analyze and test thread-safety thoroughly –Then look for meaningful opportunities to relax consistency Use a lock-free memory reclamation scheme –Count threads and then delete when quiescent –Use hazard pointers to track threads accesses to an object –Reference count and delete in a thread-safe way –Detach garbage and delegate deletion to another thread Watch out for the ABA problem –E.g., with coupled variables, pop-push-pop issues Identify busy waiting, then steal or delegate work –E.g., if thread would be blocked, “help it over the fence”


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