Exploiting Transactional Memory in Real Applications

Project

Exploiting Transactional Memory in Real Applications

Principal Investigator

Michael Spear

Lehigh University

Oracle Fellowship Recipient

Tingzhe Zhou

Oracle Principal Investigator

Alex Kogan, Principal Member Of Technical Staff
Dave Dice, Architect
Mark Moir, Architect

Summary

The goal of this research is to investigate how to exploit transactional memory (TM) in real applications.  TM has long been promised as a mechanism that will simplify concurrent programming, but despite its availability in recent architectures from Intel and IBM, and its addition to the C++ language as a Technical Specification in May 2015, few programs use TM.  The research project will entail rewriting portions of a diverse set of widely-used applications, beginning with Apache, MongoDB, Firefox, and Gedit, so that those programs use transactions instead of locks.  This process will provide insight into (a) the performance of transactions, (b) the usability of transactional memory as a programming paradigm, and (c) deficiencies in current transactional memory interfaces and implementations.