Safe non-blocking synchronization in Ada2x

Johann Blieberger, Bernd Burgstaller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


The mutual-exclusion property of locks stands in the way to scalability of parallel programs on many-core architectures. Locks do not allow progress guarantees, because a task may fail inside a critical section and keep holding a lock that blocks other tasks from accessing shared data. With non-blocking synchronization, the drawbacks of locks are avoided by synchronizing access to shared data by atomic read-modify-write operations. To incorporate non-blocking synchronization in Ada 202x, programmers must be able to reason about the behavior and performance of tasks in the absence of protected objects and rendezvous. We therefore extend Ada’s memory model by synchronized types, which support the expression of memory ordering operations at a sufficient level of detail. To mitigate the complexity associated with non-blocking synchronization, we propose concurrent objects as a novel high-level language construct. Entities of a concurrent object execute in parallel, due to a fine-grained, optimistic synchronization mechanism. Synchronization is framed by the semantics of concurrent entry execution. The programmer is only required to label shared data accesses in the code of concurrent entries. Labels constitute memory-ordering operations expressed through aspects and attributes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first approach to provide a non-blocking synchronization construct as a first-class citizen of a high-level programming language. We illustrate the use of concurrent objects by several examples.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReliable Software Technologies – Ada-Europe 2018 - 23rd Ada-Europe International Conference on Reliable Software Technologies, Proceedings
EditorsAntónio Casimiro, Pedro M. Ferreira
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783319924311
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event23rd International Conference on Reliable Software Technologies, Ada-Europe 2018 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 2018 Jun 182018 Jun 22

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10873 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other23rd International Conference on Reliable Software Technologies, Ada-Europe 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments. This research was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project I 1035N23, and by the Next-Generation Information Computing Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning under grant NRF2015-M3C4A7065522.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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