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* libitm: (libitm). GNU Transactional Memory Library
This manual documents the GNU Transactional Memory Library.
Copyright (C) 2011-2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A
copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free
Documentation License".

File:, Node: Top, Next: Enabling libitm, Up: (dir)
This manual documents the usage and internals of libitm, the GNU
Transactional Memory Library. It provides transaction support for
accesses to a process' memory, enabling easy-to-use synchronization of
accesses to shared memory by several threads.
* Menu:
* Enabling libitm:: How to enable libitm for your applications.
* C/C++ Language Constructs for TM::
Notes on the language-level interface supported
by gcc.
* The libitm ABI:: Notes on the external ABI provided by libitm.
* Internals:: Notes on libitm's internal synchronization.
* GNU Free Documentation License::
How you can copy and share this manual.
* Index:: Index of this documentation.

File:, Node: Enabling libitm, Next: C/C++ Language Constructs for TM, Prev: Top, Up: Top
1 Enabling libitm
To activate support for TM in C/C++, the compile-time flag `-fgnu-tm'
must be specified. This enables TM language-level constructs such as
transaction statements (e.g., `__transaction_atomic', *note C/C++
Language Constructs for TM:: for details).

File:, Node: C/C++ Language Constructs for TM, Next: The libitm ABI, Prev: Enabling libitm, Up: Top
2 C/C++ Language Constructs for TM
Transactions are supported in C++ and C in the form of transaction
statements, transaction expressions, and function transactions. In the
following example, both `a' and `b' will be read and the difference
will be written to `c', all atomically and isolated from other
__transaction_atomic { c = a - b; }
Therefore, another thread can use the following code to concurrently
update `b' without ever causing `c' to hold a negative value (and
without having to use other synchronization constructs such as locks or
C++11 atomics):
__transaction_atomic { if (a > b) b++; }
GCC follows the Draft Specification of Transactional Language
Constructs for C++ (v1.1)
( in its implementation
of transactions.
The precise semantics of transactions are defined in terms of the
C++11/C11 memory model (see the specification). Roughly, transactions
provide synchronization guarantees that are similar to what would be
guaranteed when using a single global lock as a guard for all
transactions. Note that like other synchronization constructs in C/C++,
transactions rely on a data-race-free program (e.g., a nontransactional
write that is concurrent with a transactional read to the same memory
location is a data race).

File:, Node: The libitm ABI, Next: Internals, Prev: C/C++ Language Constructs for TM, Up: Top
3 The libitm ABI
The ABI provided by libitm is basically equal to the Linux variant of
Intel's current TM ABI specification document (Revision 1.1, May 6
2009) but with the differences listed in this chapter. It would be good
if these changes would eventually be merged into a future version of
this specification. To ease look-up, the following subsections mirror
the structure of this specification.
3.1 [No changes] Objectives
3.2 [No changes] Non-objectives
3.3 Library design principles
3.3.1 [No changes] Calling conventions
3.3.2 [No changes] TM library algorithms
3.3.3 [No changes] Optimized load and store routines
3.3.4 [No changes] Aligned load and store routines
3.3.5 Data logging functions
The memory locations accessed with transactional loads and stores and
the memory locations whose values are logged must not overlap. This
required separation only extends to the scope of the execution of one
transaction including all the executions of all nested transactions.
The compiler must be consistent (within the scope of a single
transaction) about which memory locations are shared and which are not
shared with other threads (i.e., data must be accessed either
transactionally or nontransactionally). Otherwise, non-write-through TM
algorithms would not work.
For memory locations on the stack, this requirement extends to only
the lifetime of the stack frame that the memory location belongs to (or
the lifetime of the transaction, whichever is shorter). Thus, memory
that is reused for several stack frames could be target of both data
logging and transactional accesses; however, this is harmless because
these stack frames' lifetimes will end before the transaction finishes.
3.3.6 [No changes] Scatter/gather calls
3.3.7 [No changes] Serial and irrevocable mode
3.3.8 [No changes] Transaction descriptor
3.3.9 Store allocation
There is no `getTransaction' function.
3.3.10 [No changes] Naming conventions
3.3.11 Function pointer encryption
Currently, this is not implemented.
3.4 Types and macros list
`_ITM_codeProperties' has changed, *note Starting a transaction:
txn-code-properties. `_ITM_srcLocation' is not used.
3.5 Function list
3.5.1 Initialization and finalization functions
These functions are not part of the ABI.
3.5.2 [No changes] Version checking
3.5.3 [No changes] Error reporting
3.5.4 [No changes] inTransaction call
3.5.5 State manipulation functions
There is no `getTransaction' function. Transaction identifiers for
nested transactions will be ordered but not necessarily sequential
(i.e., for a nested transaction's identifier IN and its enclosing
transaction's identifier IE, it is guaranteed that IN >= IE).
3.5.6 [No changes] Source locations
3.5.7 Starting a transaction
---------------------------- Transaction code properties
The bit `hasNoXMMUpdate' is instead called `hasNoVectorUpdate'. Iff it
is set, vector register save/restore is not necessary for any target
The `hasNoFloatUpdate' bit (`0x0010') is new. Iff it is set, floating
point register save/restore is not necessary for any target machine.
`undoLogCode' is not supported and a fatal runtime error will be
raised if this bit is set. It is not properly defined in the ABI why
barriers other than undo logging are not present; Are they not
necessary (e.g., a transaction operating purely on thread-local data)
or have they been omitted by the compiler because it thinks that some
kind of global synchronization (e.g., serial mode) might perform
better? The specification suggests that the latter might be the case,
but the former seems to be more useful.
The `readOnly' bit (`0x4000') is new. *TODO* Lexical or dynamic
`hasNoRetry' is not supported. If this bit is not set, but
`hasNoAbort' is set, the library can assume that transaction rollback
will not be requested.
It would be useful if the absence of externally-triggered rollbacks
would be reported for the dynamic scope as well, not just for the
lexical scope (`hasNoAbort'). Without this, a library cannot exploit
this together with flat nesting.
`exceptionBlock' is not supported because exception blocks are not
used. [No changes] Windows exception state
............................................ [No changes] Other machine state
........................................ [No changes] Results from beginTransaction
3.5.8 Aborting a transaction
`_ITM_rollbackTransaction' is not supported. `_ITM_abortTransaction' is
supported but the abort reasons `exceptionBlockAbort', `TMConflict',
and `userRetry' are not supported. There are no exception blocks in
general, so the related cases also do not have to be considered. To
encode `__transaction_cancel [[outer]]', compilers must set the new
`outerAbort' bit (`0x10') additionally to the `userAbort' bit in the
abort reason.
3.5.9 Committing a transaction
The exception handling (EH) scheme is different. The Intel ABI requires
the `_ITM_tryCommitTransaction' function that will return even when the
commit failed and will have to be matched with calls to either
`_ITM_abortTransaction' or `_ITM_commitTransaction'. In contrast, gcc
relies on transactional wrappers for the functions of the Exception
Handling ABI and on one additional commit function (shown below). This
allows the TM to keep track of EH internally and thus it does not have
to embed the cleanup of EH state into the existing EH code in the
program. `_ITM_tryCommitTransaction' is not supported.
`_ITM_commitTransactionToId' is also not supported because the
propagation of thrown exceptions will not bypass commits of nested
void _ITM_commitTransactionEH(void *exc_ptr) ITM_REGPARM;
void *_ITM_cxa_allocate_exception (size_t);
void _ITM_cxa_throw (void *obj, void *tinfo, void *dest);
void *_ITM_cxa_begin_catch (void *exc_ptr);
void _ITM_cxa_end_catch (void);
`_ITM_commitTransactionEH' must be called to commit a transaction if
an exception could be in flight at this position in the code. `exc_ptr'
is the current exception or zero if there is no current exception. The
`_ITM_cxa...' functions are transactional wrappers for the respective
`__cxa...' functions and must be called instead of these in
transactional code.
To support this EH scheme, libstdc++ needs to provide one additional
function (`_cxa_tm_cleanup'), which is used by the TM to clean up the
exception handling state while rolling back a transaction:
void __cxa_tm_cleanup (void *unthrown_obj, void *cleanup_exc,
unsigned int caught_count);
`unthrown_obj' is non-null if the program called
`__cxa_allocate_exception' for this exception but did not yet called
`__cxa_throw' for it. `cleanup_exc' is non-null if the program is
currently processing a cleanup along an exception path but has not
caught this exception yet. `caught_count' is the nesting depth of
`__cxa_begin_catch' within the transaction (which can be counted by the
TM using `_ITM_cxa_begin_catch' and `_ITM_cxa_end_catch');
`__cxa_tm_cleanup' then performs rollback by essentially performing
`__cxa_end_catch' that many times.
3.5.10 Exception handling support
Currently, there is no support for functionality like
`__transaction_cancel throw' as described in the C++ TM specification.
Supporting this should be possible with the EH scheme explained
previously because via the transactional wrappers for the EH ABI, the
TM is able to observe and intercept EH.
3.5.11 [No changes] Transition to serial-irrevocable mode
3.5.12 [No changes] Data transfer functions
3.5.13 [No changes] Transactional memory copies
3.5.14 Transactional versions of memmove
If either the source or destination memory region is to be accessed
nontransactionally, then source and destination regions must not be
overlapping. The respective `_ITM_memmove' functions are still
available but a fatal runtime error will be raised if such regions do
overlap. To support this functionality, the ABI would have to specify
how the intersection of the regions has to be accessed (i.e.,
transactionally or nontransactionally).
3.5.15 [No changes] Transactional versions of memset
3.5.16 [No changes] Logging functions
3.5.17 User-registered commit and undo actions
Commit actions will get executed in the same order in which the
respective calls to `_ITM_addUserCommitAction' happened. Only
`_ITM_noTransactionId' is allowed as value for the
`resumingTransactionId' argument. Commit actions get executed after
privatization safety has been ensured.
Undo actions will get executed in reverse order compared to the
order in which the respective calls to `_ITM_addUserUndoAction'
happened. The ordering of undo actions w.r.t. the roll-back of other
actions (e.g., data transfers or memory allocations) is undefined.
`_ITM_getThreadnum' is not supported currently because its only
purpose is to provide a thread ID that matches some assumed performance
tuning output, but this output is not part of the ABI nor further
defined by it.
`_ITM_dropReferences' is not supported currently because its
semantics and the intention behind it is not entirely clear. The
specification suggests that this function is necessary because of
certain orderings of data transfer undos and the releasing of memory
regions (i.e., privatization). However, this ordering is never defined,
nor is the ordering of dropping references w.r.t. other events.
3.5.18 [New] Transactional indirect calls
Indirect calls (i.e., calls through a function pointer) within
transactions should execute the transactional clone of the original
function (i.e., a clone of the original that has been fully
instrumented to use the TM runtime), if such a clone is available. The
runtime provides two functions to register/deregister clone tables:
struct clone_entry
void *orig, *clone;
void _ITM_registerTMCloneTable (clone_entry *table, size_t entries);
void _ITM_deregisterTMCloneTable (clone_entry *table);
Registered tables must be writable by the TM runtime, and must be
live throughout the life-time of the TM runtime.
*TODO* The intention was always to drop the registration functions
entirely, and create a new ELF Phdr describing the linker-sorted table.
Much like what currently happens for `PT_GNU_EH_FRAME'. This work kept
getting bogged down in how to represent the N different code generation
variants. We clearly needed at least two--SW and HW transactional
clones--but there was always a suggestion of more variants for
different TM assumptions/invariants.
The compiler can then use two TM runtime functions to perform
indirect calls in transactions:
void *_ITM_getTMCloneOrIrrevocable (void *function) ITM_REGPARM;
void *_ITM_getTMCloneSafe (void *function) ITM_REGPARM;
If there is a registered clone for supplied function, both will
return a pointer to the clone. If not, the first runtime function will
attempt to switch to serial-irrevocable mode and return the original
pointer, whereas the second will raise a fatal runtime error.
3.5.19 [New] Transactional dynamic memory management
void *_ITM_malloc (size_t)
__attribute__((__malloc__)) ITM_PURE;
void *_ITM_calloc (size_t, size_t)
__attribute__((__malloc__)) ITM_PURE;
void _ITM_free (void *) ITM_PURE;
These functions are essentially transactional wrappers for `malloc',
`calloc', and `free'. Within transactions, the compiler should replace
calls to the original functions with calls to the wrapper functions.
3.6 [No changes] Future Enhancements to the ABI
3.7 Sample code
The code examples might not be correct w.r.t. the current version of
the ABI, especially everything related to exception handling.
3.8 [New] Memory model
The ABI should define a memory model and the ordering that is
guaranteed for data transfers and commit/undo actions, or at least
refer to another memory model that needs to be preserved. Without that,
the compiler cannot ensure the memory model specified on the level of
the programming language (e.g., by the C++ TM specification).
For example, if a transactional load is ordered before another
load/store, then the TM runtime must also ensure this ordering when
accessing shared state. If not, this might break the kind of
publication safety used in the C++ TM specification. Likewise, the TM
runtime must ensure privatization safety.

File:, Node: Internals, Next: GNU Free Documentation License, Prev: The libitm ABI, Up: Top
4 Internals
4.1 TM methods and method groups
libitm supports several ways of synchronizing transactions with each
other. These TM methods (or TM algorithms) are implemented in the form
of subclasses of `abi_dispatch', which provide methods for
transactional loads and stores as well as callbacks for rollback and
commit. All methods that are compatible with each other (i.e., that
let concurrently running transactions still synchronize correctly even
if different methods are used) belong to the same TM method group.
Pointers to TM methods can be obtained using the factory methods
prefixed with `dispatch_' in `libitm_i.h'. There are two special
methods, `dispatch_serial' and `dispatch_serialirr', that are
compatible with all methods because they run transactions completely in
serial mode.
4.1.1 TM method life cycle
The state of TM methods does not change after construction, but they do
alter the state of transactions that use this method. However, because
per-transaction data gets used by several methods, `gtm_thread' is
responsible for setting an initial state that is useful for all methods.
After that, methods are responsible for resetting/clearing this state
on each rollback or commit (of outermost transactions), so that the
transaction executed next is not affected by the previous transaction.
There is also global state associated with each method group, which
is initialized and shut down (`method_group::init()' and `fini()') when
switching between method groups (see `').
4.1.2 Selecting the default method
The default method that libitm uses for freshly started transactions
(but not necessarily for restarted transactions) can be set via an
environment variable (`ITM_DEFAULT_METHOD'), whose value should be
equal to the name of one of the factory methods returning abi_dispatch
subclasses but without the "dispatch_" prefix (e.g., "serialirr"
instead of `GTM::dispatch_serialirr()').
Note that this environment variable is only a hint for libitm and
might not be supported in the future.
4.2 Nesting: flat vs. closed
We support two different kinds of nesting of transactions. In the case
of _flat nesting_, the nesting structure is flattened and all nested
transactions are subsumed by the enclosing transaction. In contrast,
with _closed nesting_, nested transactions that have not yet committed
can be rolled back separately from the enclosing transactions; when they
commit, they are subsumed by the enclosing transaction, and their
effects will be finally committed when the outermost transaction
commits. _Open nesting_ (where nested transactions can commit
independently of the enclosing transactions) are not supported.
Flat nesting is the default nesting mode, but closed nesting is
supported and used when transactions contain user-controlled aborts
(`__transaction_cancel' statements). We assume that user-controlled
aborts are rare in typical code and used mostly in exceptional
situations. Thus, it makes more sense to use flat nesting by default
to avoid the performance overhead of the additional checkpoints
required for closed nesting. User-controlled aborts will correctly
abort the innermost enclosing transaction, whereas the whole (i.e.,
outermost) transaction will be restarted otherwise (e.g., when a
transaction encounters data conflicts during optimistic execution).
4.3 Locking conventions
This section documents the locking scheme and rules for all uses of
locking in libitm. We have to support serial(-irrevocable) mode, which
is implemented using a global lock as explained next (called the
_serial lock_). To simplify the overall design, we use the same lock as
catch-all locking mechanism for other infrequent tasks such as
(de)registering clone tables or threads. Besides the serial lock, there
are _per-method-group locks_ that are managed by specific method groups
(i.e., groups of similar TM concurrency control algorithms), and
lock-like constructs for quiescence-based operations such as ensuring
privatization safety.
Thus, the actions that participate in the libitm-internal locking
are either _active transactions_ that do not run in serial mode, _serial
transactions_ (which (are about to) run in serial mode), and management
tasks that do not execute within a transaction but have acquired the
serial mode like a serial transaction would do (e.g., to be able to
register threads with libitm). Transactions become active as soon as
they have successfully used the serial lock to announce this globally
(*note Serial lock implementation: serial-lock-impl.). Likewise,
transactions become serial transactions as soon as they have acquired
the exclusive rights provided by the serial lock (i.e., serial mode,
which also means that there are no other concurrent active or serial
transactions). Note that active transactions can become serial
transactions when they enter serial mode during the runtime of the
4.3.1 State-to-lock mapping
Application data is protected by the serial lock if there is a serial
transaction and no concurrently running active transaction (i.e.,
non-serial). Otherwise, application data is protected by the currently
selected method group, which might use per-method-group locks or other
mechanisms. Also note that application data that is about to be
privatized might not be allowed to be accessed by nontransactional code
until privatization safety has been ensured; the details of this are
handled by the current method group.
libitm-internal state is either protected by the serial lock or
accessed through custom concurrent code. The latter applies to the
public/shared part of a transaction object and most typical
method-group-specific state.
The former category (protected by the serial lock) includes:
* The list of active threads that have used transactions.
* The tables that map functions to their transactional clones.
* The current selection of which method group to use.
* Some method-group-specific data, or invariants of this data. For
example, resetting a method group to its initial state is handled
by switching to the same method group, so the serial lock protects
such resetting as well.
In general, such state is immutable whenever there exists an active
(non-serial) transaction. If there is no active transaction, a serial
transaction (or a thread that is not currently executing a transaction
but has acquired the serial lock) is allowed to modify this state (but
must of course be careful to not surprise the current method group's
implementation with such modifications).
4.3.2 Lock acquisition order
To prevent deadlocks, locks acquisition must happen in a globally
agreed-upon order. Note that this applies to other forms of blocking
too, but does not necessarily apply to lock acquisitions that do not
block (e.g., trylock() calls that do not get retried forever). Note
that serial transactions are never return back to active transactions
until the transaction has committed. Likewise, active transactions
stay active until they have committed. Per-method-group locks are
typically also not released before commit.
Lock acquisition / blocking rules:
* Transactions must become active or serial before they are allowed
to use method-group-specific locks or blocking (i.e., the serial
lock must be acquired before those other locks, either in serial
or nonserial mode).
* Any number of threads that do not currently run active
transactions can block while trying to get the serial lock in
exclusive mode. Note that active transactions must not block when
trying to upgrade to serial mode unless there is no other
transaction that is trying that (the latter is ensured by the
serial lock implementation.
* Method groups must prevent deadlocks on their locks. In
particular, they must also be prepared for another active
transaction that has acquired method-group-specific locks but is
blocked during an attempt to upgrade to being a serial
transaction. See below for details.
* Serial transactions can acquire method-group-specific locks
because there will be no other active nor serial transaction.
There is no single rule for per-method-group blocking because this
depends on when a TM method might acquire locks. If no active
transaction can upgrade to being a serial transaction after it has
acquired per-method-group locks (e.g., when those locks are only
acquired during an attempt to commit), then the TM method does not need
to consider a potential deadlock due to serial mode.
If there can be upgrades to serial mode after the acquisition of
per-method-group locks, then TM methods need to avoid those deadlocks:
* When upgrading to a serial transaction, after acquiring exclusive
rights to the serial lock but before waiting for concurrent active
transactions to finish (*note Serial lock implementation:
serial-lock-impl. for details), we have to wake up all active
transactions waiting on the upgrader's per-method-group locks.
* Active transactions blocking on per-method-group locks need to
check the serial lock and abort if there is a pending serial
* Lost wake-ups have to be prevented (e.g., by changing a bit in each
per-method-group lock before doing the wake-up, and only blocking
on this lock using a futex if this bit is not group).
*TODO*: Can reuse serial lock for gl-*? And if we can, does it make
sense to introduce further complexity in the serial lock? For gl-*, we
can really only avoid an abort if we do -wb and -vbv.
4.3.3 Serial lock implementation
The serial lock implementation is optimized towards assuming that serial
transactions are infrequent and not the common case. However, the
performance of entering serial mode can matter because when only few
transactions are run concurrently or if there are few threads, then it
can be efficient to run transactions serially.
The serial lock is similar to a multi-reader-single-writer lock in
that there can be several active transactions but only one serial
transaction. However, we do want to avoid contention (in the lock
implementation) between active transactions, so we split up the reader
side of the lock into per-transaction flags that are true iff the
transaction is active. The exclusive writer side remains a shared
single flag, which is acquired using a CAS, for example. On the
fast-path, the serial lock then works similar to Dekker's algorithm but
with several reader flags that a serial transaction would have to check.
A serial transaction thus requires a list of all threads with
potentially active transactions; we can use the serial lock itself to
protect this list (i.e., only threads that have acquired the serial
lock can modify this list).
We want starvation-freedom for the serial lock to allow for using it
to ensure progress for potentially starved transactions (*note Progress
Guarantees: progress-guarantees. for details). However, this is
currently not enforced by the implementation of the serial lock.
Here is pseudo-code for the read/write fast paths of acquiring the
serial lock (read-to-write upgrade is similar to write_lock:
// read_lock:
tx->shared_state |= active;
__sync_synchronize(); // or STLD membar, or C++0x seq-cst fence
while (!serial_lock.exclusive)
if (spinning_for_too_long) goto slowpath;
// write_lock:
if (CAS(&serial_lock.exclusive, 0, this) != 0)
goto slowpath; // writer-writer contention
// need a membar here, but CAS already has full membar semantics
bool need_blocking = false;
for (t: all txns)
for (;t->shared_state & active;)
if (spinning_for_too_long) { need_blocking = true; break; }
if (need_blocking) goto slowpath;
Releasing a lock in this spin-lock version then just consists of
resetting `tx->shared_state' to inactive or clearing
However, we can't rely on a pure spinlock because we need to get the
OS involved at some time (e.g., when there are more threads than CPUs
to run on). Therefore, the real implementation falls back to a
blocking slow path, either based on pthread mutexes or Linux futexes.
4.3.4 Reentrancy
libitm has to consider the following cases of reentrancy:
* Transaction calls unsafe code that starts a new transaction: The
outer transaction will become a serial transaction before
executing unsafe code. Therefore, nesting within serial
transactions must work, even if the nested transaction is called
from within uninstrumented code.
* Transaction calls either a transactional wrapper or safe code,
which in turn starts a new transaction: It is not yet defined in
the specification whether this is allowed. Thus, it is undefined
whether libitm supports this.
* Code that starts new transactions might be called from within any
part of libitm: This kind of reentrancy would likely be rather
complex and can probably be avoided. Therefore, it is not
4.3.5 Privatization safety
Privatization safety is ensured by libitm using a quiescence-based
approach. Basically, a privatizing transaction waits until all
concurrent active transactions will either have finished (are not
active anymore) or operate on a sufficiently recent snapshot to not
access the privatized data anymore. This happens after the privatizing
transaction has stopped being an active transaction, so waiting for
quiescence does not contribute to deadlocks.
In method groups that need to ensure publication safety explicitly,
active transactions maintain a flag or timestamp in the public/shared
part of the transaction descriptor. Before blocking, privatizers need
to let the other transactions know that they should wake up the
*TODO* Ho to implement the waiters? Should those flags be
per-transaction or at a central place? We want to avoid one wake/wait
call per active transactions, so we might want to use either a tree or
combining to reduce the syscall overhead, or rather spin for a long
amount of time instead of doing blocking. Also, it would be good if
only the last transaction that the privatizer waits for would do the
4.3.6 Progress guarantees
Transactions that do not make progress when using the current TM method
will eventually try to execute in serial mode. Thus, the serial lock's
progress guarantees determine the progress guarantees of the whole TM.
Obviously, we at least need deadlock-freedom for the serial lock, but
it would also be good to provide starvation-freedom (informally, all
threads will finish executing a transaction eventually iff they get
enough cycles).
However, the scheduling of transactions (e.g., thread scheduling by
the OS) also affects the handling of progress guarantees by the TM.
First, the TM can only guarantee deadlock-freedom if threads do not get
stopped. Likewise, low-priority threads can starve if they do not get
scheduled when other high-priority threads get those cycles instead.
If all threads get scheduled eventually, correct lock
implementations will provide deadlock-freedom, but might not provide
starvation-freedom. We can either enforce the latter in the TM's lock
implementation, or assume that the scheduling is sufficiently random to
yield a probabilistic guarantee that no thread will starve (because
eventually, a transaction will encounter a scheduling that will allow
it to run). This can indeed work well in practice but is not
necessarily guaranteed to work (e.g., simple spin locks can be pretty
Because enforcing stronger progress guarantees in the TM has a
higher runtime overhead, we focus on deadlock-freedom right now and
assume that the threads will get scheduled eventually by the OS (but
don't consider threads with different priorities). We should support
starvation-freedom for serial transactions in the future. Everything
beyond that is highly related to proper contention management across
all of the TM (including with TM method to choose), and is future work.
*TODO* Handling thread priorities: We want to avoid priority
inversion but it's unclear how often that actually matters in practice.
Workloads that have threads with different priorities will likely also
require lower latency or higher throughput for high-priority threads.
Therefore, it probably makes not that much sense (except for eventual
progress guarantees) to use priority inheritance until the TM has
priority-aware contention management.

File:, Node: GNU Free Documentation License, Next: Index, Prev: Internals, Up: Top
GNU Free Documentation License
Version 1.3, 3 November 2008
Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
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We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for
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ADDENDUM: How to use this License for your documents
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Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
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or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
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If you have Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts and Back-Cover
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If you have Invariant Sections without Cover Texts, or some other
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If your document contains nontrivial examples of program code, we
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Tag Table:
Node: Top1182
Node: Enabling libitm2085
Node: C/C++ Language Constructs for TM2479
Node: The libitm ABI3959
Ref: txn-code-properties7752
Node: Internals18027
Ref: serial-lock-impl28052
Ref: progress-guarantees32802
Node: GNU Free Documentation License35076
Node: Index60217

End Tag Table