Advanced Search

Browse by Discipline

Scientific Societies

E-print Alerts

Add E-prints

E-print Network

  Advanced Search  

A New Fast-Path Mechanism for Mutual Exclusion James H. Anderson and Yong-Jik Kim

Summary: A New Fast-Path Mechanism for Mutual Exclusion 
James H. Anderson and Yong-Jik Kim
Department of Computer Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
July 2000
Several years ago, Yang and Anderson presented an N-process algorithm for mutual exclusion under
read/write atomicity that has (log N) time complexity, where \time" is measured by counting remote
memory references. In this algorithm, instances of a two-process mutual exclusion algorithm are embed-
ded within a binary arbitration tree. In the two-process algorithm that was used, all busy-waiting is done
by \local spinning." Performance studies presented by Yang and Anderson showed that their N-process
algorithm exhibits scalable performance under heavy contention. One drawback of using an arbitration
tree, however, is that each process is required to perform (log N) remote memory operations even
when there is no contention. To remedy this problem, Yang and Anderson presented a variant of their
algorithm that includes a \fast-path" mechanism that allows the arbitration tree to be bypassed in the
absence of contention. This algorithm has the desirable property that contention-free time complexity is
O(1). Unfortunately, the fast-path mechanism that was used caused time complexity under contention
to rise to (N) in the worst case. To this day, the problem of designing a read/write mutual exclusion
algorithm with O(1) time complexity in the absence of contention and O(log N) time complexity under
contention has remained open. In this paper, we close this problem by presenting a fast-path mecha-


Source: Anderson, James - Department of Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences