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The Best of Both Worlds: Trading efficiency and optimality in fence insertion for TSO
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Systems.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Systems.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4993-0092
2015 (English)In: Programming Languages and Systems: ESOP 2015, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2015, p. 308-332Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We present a method for automatic fence insertion in concurrent programs running under weak memory models that provides the best known trade-off between efficiency and optimality. On the one hand, the method can efficiently handle complex aspects of program behaviors such as unbounded buffers and large numbers of processes. On the other hand, it is able to find small sets of fences needed for ensuring correctness of the program. To this end, we propose a novel notion of correctness, called persistence, that compares the behavior of the program under the weak memory semantics with that under the classical interleaving (SC) semantics. We instantiate our framework for the Total Store Ordering (TSO) memory model, and give an algorithm that reduces the fence insertion problem under TSO to the reachability problem for programs running under SC. Furthermore, we provide an abstraction scheme that substantially increases scalability to large numbers of processes. Based on our method, we have implemented a tool and run it successfully on a wide range benchmarks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2015. p. 308-332
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 9032
Keywords [en]
weak memory, correctness, verification, TSO, concurrent program
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-253645DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-46669-8_13ISI: 000361751400013ISBN: 978-3-662-46668-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-253645DiVA, id: diva2:815351
Conference
24th European Symposium on Programming, ESOP 2015, April 11–18, London, UK
Projects
UPMARCAvailable from: 2015-05-29 Created: 2015-05-29 Last updated: 2018-11-21
In thesis
1. Model Checking of Software Systems under Weak Memory Models
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Model Checking of Software Systems under Weak Memory Models
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When a program is compiled and run on a modern architecture, different optimizations may be applied to gain in efficiency. In particular, the access operations (e.g., read and write) to the shared memory may be performed in an out-of-order manner, i.e., in a different order than the order in which the operations have been issued by the program. The reordering of memory access operations leads to efficient use of instruction pipelines and thus an improvement in program execution times. However, the gain in this efficiency comes at a price. More precisely, programs running under modern architectures may exhibit unexpected behaviors by programmers. The out-of-order execution has led to the invention of new program semantics, called weak memory model (WMM). One crucial problem is to ensure the correctness of concurrent programs running under weak memory models.

The thesis proposes three techniques for reasoning and analyzing concurrent programs running under WMMs. The first one is a sound and complete analysis technique for finite-state programs running under the TSO semantics (Paper II). This technique is based on a novel and equivalent semantics for TSO, called Dual TSO semantics, and on the use of well-structured transition framework. The second technique is an under-approximation technique that can be used to detect bugs under the POWER semantics (Paper III). This technique is based on bounding the number of contexts in an explored execution where, in each context, there is only one active process. The third technique is also an under-approximation technique based on systematic testing (a.k.a. stateless model checking). This approach has been used to develop an optimal and efficient systematic testing approach for concurrent programs running under the Release-Acquire semantics (Paper IV).

The thesis also considers the problem of effectively finding a minimal set of fences that guarantees the correctness of a concurrent program running under WMMs (Paper I). A fence (a.k.a. barrier) is an operation that can be inserted in the program to prohibit certain reorderings between operations issued before and after the fence. Since fences are expensive, it is crucial to automatically find a minimal set of fences to ensure the program correctness. This thesis presents a method for automatic fence insertion in programs running under the TSO semantics that offers the best-known trade-off between the efficiency and optimality of the algorithm. The technique is based on a novel notion of correctness, called Persistence, that compares the behaviors of a program running under WMMs to that running under the SC semantics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. p. 61
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1745
Keywords
Model checking, Concurrent program, Weak memory model
National Category
Computer Systems
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-366361 (URN)978-91-513-0506-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-01-21, 2446, Department of Information Technology, Polacksbacken (Lägerhyddsvägen 2), Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
UPMARC
Available from: 2018-12-17 Created: 2018-11-20 Last updated: 2019-01-25

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Publisher's full texthttps://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-662-46669-8_13

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Abdulla, Parosh AzizAtig, Mohamed FaouziNgo, Tuan-Phong

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