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Efficient and Practical Constructions of LL/SC Variables
Prasad Jayanti, Srdjan Petrovic
Dartmouth TR2003-446

Abstract: Over the past decade, LL/SC have emerged as the most suitable synchronization instructions for the design of lock-free algorithms. However, current architectures do not support these instructions; instead, they support either CAS or RLL/RSC (e.g. POWER4, MIPS, SPARC, IA-64). To bridge this gap, this paper presents two efficient wait-free algorithms for implementing 64-bit LL/SC objects from 64-bit CAS or RLL/RSC objects.

Our first algorithm is practical: it has a small, constant time complexity (of 4 for LL and 5 for SC) and a space overhead of only 4 words per process. This algorithm uses unbounded sequence numbers. For theoretical interest, we also present a more complex bounded algorithm that still guarantees constant time complexity and O(1) space overhead per process.

The LL/SC primitive is free of the well-known ABA problem that afflicts CAS. By efficiently implementing LL/SC words from CAS words, this work presents an efficient general solution to the ABA problem.


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   Prasad Jayanti and Srdjan Petrovic, "Efficient and Practical Constructions of LL/SC Variables." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2003-446, June 2003.

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