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Formalising Java's Data Race Free Guarantee David Aspinall and Jaroslav Sevcik

Summary: Formalising Java's Data Race Free Guarantee
David Aspinall and Jaroslav Sevc´ik
LFCS, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
Abstract. We formalise the data race free (DRF) guarantee provided
by Java, as captured by the semi-formal Java Memory Model (JMM) [1]
and published in the Java Language Specification [2]. The DRF guaran-
tee says that all programs which are correctly synchronised (i.e., free of
data races) can only have sequentially consistent behaviours. Such pro-
grams can be understood intuitively by programmers. Formalisation has
achieved three aims. First, we made definitions and proofs precise, lead-
ing to a better understanding; our analysis found several hidden incon-
sistencies and missing details. Second, the formalisation lets us explore
variations and investigate their impact in the proof with the aim of sim-
plifying the model; we found that not all of the anticipated conditions in
the JMM definition were actually necessary for the DRF guarantee. This
allows us to suggest a quick fix to a recently discovered serious bug [3]
without invalidating the DRF guarantee. Finally, the formal definition
provides a basis to test concrete examples, and opens the way for future
work on JMM-aware logics for concurrent programs.
1 Introduction


Source: Aspinall, David - School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences