Strong Memory Consistency for Parallel Programming

Christian DeLozier, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Correctly synchronizing multithreaded programs is challenging, and errors can lead to program failures (e.g., atomicity violations). Existing memory consistency models rule out some possible failures, but are limited by depending on subtle programmer-defined locking code and by providing unintuitive semantics for incorrectly synchronized code. Stronger memory consistency models assist programmers by providing them with easier-to-understand semantics with regard to memory access interleavings in parallel code. This dissertation proposes a new strong memory consistency model based on ordering-free regions (OFRs), which are spans of dynamic instructions between consecutive ordering constructs (e.g. barriers). Atomicity over ordering-free regions provides stronger atomicity than existing strong memory consistency models with competitive performance. Ordering-free regions also simplify programmer reasoning by limiting the potential for atomicity violations to fewer points in the program’s execution. This dissertation explores both software-only and hardware-supported systems that provide OFR serializability.

Subject Area

Computer Engineering|Computer science

Recommended Citation

DeLozier, Christian, "Strong Memory Consistency for Parallel Programming" (2018). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI10826709.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI10826709

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