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An Oracle blog about Transactional locks

Refined Transactional Lock Elision

Dave Dice
Senior Research Scientist
Refined Transactional Lock Elision in PPoPP 2016 by Dave Dice, Alex Kogan and Yossi Lev.
Abstract
Transactional lock elision (TLE) is a well-known technique that exploits hardware transactional memory (HTM) to introduce con- currency into lock-based software. It achieves that by attempting to execute a critical section protected by a lock in an atomic hard- ware transaction, reverting to the lock if these attempts fail. One significant drawback of TLE is that it disables hardware speculation once there is a thread running under lock. In this paper we present two algorithms that rely on existing compiler support for transactional programs and allow threads to speculate concurrently on HTM along with a thread holding the lock. We demonstrate the benefit of our algorithms over TLE and other related approaches with an in-depth analysis of a number of benchmarks and a wide range of workloads, including an AVL tree-based micro-benchmark and ccTSA, a real sequence assembler application.

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