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Composite Registers \Lambda James H. Anderson y

Summary: Composite Registers \Lambda
James H. Anderson y
Department of Computer Science
The University of Maryland at College Park
College Park, Maryland 20742
July 1989
Revised March 1991, February 1992
We introduce a shared data object, called a composite register, that generalizes the notion of an
atomic register. A composite register is an array­like shared data object that is partitioned into a num­
ber of components. An operation of a composite register either writes a value to a single component or
reads the values of all components. A composite register reduces to an ordinary atomic register when
there is only one component. In this paper, we show that multi­reader, single­writer atomic registers
can be used to implement a composite register in which there is only one writer per component. In
a related paper, we show how to use the composite register construction of this paper to implement a
composite register with multiple writers per component. These two constructions show that it is possible
to implement a shared memory that can be read in its entirety in a single snapshot operation, without
using mutual exclusion.
Keywords: atomicity, atomic register, composite register, concurrency, interleaving semantics, lineariz­
ability, shared variable, snapshot


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


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences