A Semantics of Synchronization.
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE LAB FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE
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This paper presents a rigorous framework to discuss the synchronization necessary to coordinate accesses to a resource. The framework, among other things, provides a method for specifying concurrency and forms the semantic basis of a synchronization mechanism which avoids certain unfortunate characteristics of monitors and serializers. Synchronization is viewed as being managed by a resource guardian. A synchronization problem is defined as a predicate on event sequences. The interaction of a guardian and the rest of the system is formalized in terms of a two person game. This formalization results in precise definitions of guardian and guardian behavior. The notion of a good or optimal solution is defined, and the solutions to certain classes of synchronization problems are characterized. An abstract description of the general actions of a guardian is given. This general description, with some restrictions, forms the basis of a simple synchronization mechanism for actually implementing solutions. The mechanism is given a rigorous semantics based on the definition of guardian. This facilitates the verification of correctness. Many examples of the use of the mechanism are given and its advantages are discussed. Author
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