Distributed Computing

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 255–271

Lock-free reference counting

  • David L. Detlefs
  • Paul A. Martin
  • Mark Moir
  • Guy L. Steele Jr.
Special issue: PODC'01

Abstract.

Assuming the existence of garbage collection makes it easier to design implementations of dynamic-sized concurrent data structures. However, this assumption limits their applicability. We present a methodology that, for a significant class of data structures, allows designers to first tackle the easier problem of designing a garbage-collection-dependent implementation, and then apply our methodology to achieve a garbage-collection-independent one. Our methodology is based on the well-known reference counting technique, and employs the double compare-and-swap operation.

Key words: Lockfree synchronization – Reference counting – Memory management – Dynamic data structures 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Detlefs
    • 1
  • Paul A. Martin
    • 1
  • Mark Moir
    • 1
  • Guy L. Steele Jr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Sun Microsystem Laboratories, 1 Network Drive, Burlington, MA 01803, USA (e-mail: Mark.Moir@sun.com) US

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