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Proving Opacity of Transactional Memory with Early Release


Transactional Memory (TM) is an alternative way of synchronizing concurrent accesses to shared memory by adopting the abstraction of transactions in place of low-level mechanisms like locks and barriers. TMs usually apply optimistic concurrency control to provide a universal and easy-to-use method of maintaining correctness. However, this approach performs a high number of aborts in high contention workloads, which can adversely affect performance. Optimistic TMs can cause problems when transactions contain irrevocable operations. Hence, pessimistic TMs were proposed to solve some of these problems. However, an important way of achieving efficiency in pessimistic TMs is to use early release. On the other hand, early release is seemingly at odds with opacity, the gold standard of TM safety properties, which does not allow transactions to make their state visible until they commit. In this paper we propose a proof technique that makes it possible to demonstrate that a TM with early release can be opaque as long as it prevents inconsistent views.

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