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Transactional Memory with Strong Atomicity Using Off-the-Shelf Memory Protection Hardware

Summary: Transactional Memory with Strong Atomicity
Using Off-the-Shelf Memory Protection Hardware
Mart´in Abadi Tim Harris Mojtaba Mehrara
Microsoft Research
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Michigan
abadi@microsoft.com tharris@microsoft.com mehrara@eecs.umich.edu
This paper introduces a new way to provide strong atomicity in an
implementation of transactional memory. Strong atomicity lets us
offer clear semantics to programs, even if they access the same
locations inside and outside transactions. It also avoids differ-
ences between hardware-implemented transactions and software-
implemented ones. Our approach is to use off-the-shelf page-level
memory protection hardware to detect conflicts between normal
memory accesses and transactional ones. This page-level mecha-
nism ensures correctness but gives poor performance because of the
costs of manipulating memory protection settings and receiving no-
tifications of access violations. However, in practice, we show how
a combination of careful object placement and dynamic code up-


Source: Abadi, Martín - Department of Computer Science, University of California at Santa Cruz


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences