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On improving the ease of use of the software transactional memory abstraction

Tyler Crain 1 
1 ASAP - As Scalable As Possible: foundations of large scale dynamic distributed systems
Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique , IRISA-D1 - SYSTÈMES LARGE ÉCHELLE
Abstract : Multicore architectures are changing the way we write programs. Writing concurrent programs is well known to be difficult task. Traditionally, the use of locks allowing code to execute in mutual exclusion has been the most widely used abstraction to write concurrent programs. Unfortunately, using locks it is difficult to write correct concurrent programs that perform efficiently. Additionally, locks present other problems such as scalability issues. Transactional memory has been proposed as a possible promising solution to these difficulties of writing concurrent programs. Transactions can be viewed as a high level abstraction or methodology for writing concurrent programs, allowing the programmer to be able to declare what sections of his code should be executed atomically, without having to worry about synchronization details. Unfortunately, although arguably easier to use then locks, transactional memory still suffers from performance and ease of use problems. In fact many concepts surrounding the usage and semantics of transactions have no widely agreed upon standards. This thesis specifically focuses on these ease of use problems by discussing how previous research has dealt with them and proposing new solutions putting ease of use first. The thesis starts with a chapter giving a brief overview of software transactional memory (STM) as well as a discussion of the problem of ease of use that is focused on in the later chapters. The research contributions are then divided into four main chapters, each looking at different approaches working towards making transactional memory easier to use.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 1:57:11 PM
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Tyler Crain. On improving the ease of use of the software transactional memory abstraction. Other [cs.OH]. Université Rennes 1, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013REN1S022⟩. ⟨tel-00861274⟩

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