Lace: Non-blocking Split Deque for Work-Stealing

  • Tom van Dijk
  • Jaco C. van de Pol
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8806)


Work-stealing is an efficient method to implement load balancing in fine-grained task parallelism. Typically, concurrent deques are used for this purpose. A disadvantage of many concurrent deques is that they require expensive memory fences for local deque operations.

In this paper, we propose a new non-blocking work-stealing deque based on the split task queue. Our design uses a dynamic split point between the shared and the private portions of the deque, and only requires memory fences when shrinking the shared portion.

We present Lace, an implementation of work-stealing based on this deque, with an interface similar to the work-stealing library Wool, and an evaluation of Lace based on several common benchmarks. We also implement a recent approach using private deques in Lace. We show that the split deque and the private deque in Lace have similar low overhead and high scalability as Wool.


work-stealing task-based parallelism dynamic load balancing lock-free algorithm non-blocking deque 


  1. 1.
    Acar, U.A., Charguéraud, A., Rainey, M.: Scheduling parallel programs by work stealing with private deques. In: PPOPP, pp. 219–228. ACM (2013)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arora, N.S., Blumofe, R.D., Plaxton, C.G.: Thread Scheduling for Multiprogrammed Multiprocessors. Theory Comput. Syst. 34(2), 115–144 (2001)CrossRefMathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Blumofe, R.D., Joerg, C.F., Kuszmaul, B.C., Leiserson, C.E., Randall, K.H., Zhou, Y.: Cilk: An Efficient Multithreaded Runtime System. J. Parallel Distrib. Comput. 37(1), 55–69 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Blumofe, R.D., Leiserson, C.E.: Scheduling Multithreaded Computations by Work Stealing. In: FOCS, pp. 356–368. IEEE Computer Society (1994)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chase, D., Lev, Y.: Dynamic circular work-stealing deque. In: SPAA, pp. 21–28. ACM (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dinan, J., Larkins, D.B., Sadayappan, P., Krishnamoorthy, S., Nieplocha, J.: Scalable work stealing. In: SC. ACM (2009)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Faxén, K.F.: Wool-A work stealing library. SIGARCH Computer Architecture News 36(5), 93–100 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Faxén, K.F.: Efficient Work Stealing for Fine Grained Parallelism. In: ICPP, pp. 313–322. IEEE Computer Society (2010)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Frigo, M., Leiserson, C.E., Randall, K.H.: The Implementation of the Cilk-5 Multithreaded Language. In: PLDI, pp. 212–223. ACM (1998)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hendler, D., Lev, Y., Moir, M., Shavit, N.: A dynamic-sized nonblocking work stealing deque. Distributed Computing 18(3), 189–207 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hendler, D., Shavit, N.: Non-blocking steal-half work queues. In: PODC, pp. 280–289. ACM (2002)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Michael, M.M., Vechev, M.T., Saraswat, V.A.: Idempotent work stealing. In: PPOPP, pp. 45–54. ACM (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Olivier, S., Huan, J., Liu, J., Prins, J., Dinan, J., Sadayappan, P., Tseng, C.W.: UTS: An Unbalanced Tree Search Benchmark. In: Almási, G.S., Caşcaval, C., Wu, P. (eds.) KSEM 2006. LNCS, vol. 4382, pp. 235–250. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Podobas, A., Brorsson, M.: A comparison of some recent task-based parallel programming models. In: Programmability Issues for Multi-Core Computers (MULTIPROG 2010), Pisa (January 2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sundell, H., Tsigas, P.: Brushing the Locks out of the Fur: A Lock-Free Work Stealing Library Based on Wool. In: The Second Swedish Workshop on Multi-Core Computing MCC 2009. University of Borås. School of Business and Informatics (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wagner, D.B., Calder, B.: Leapfrogging: A portable technique for implementing efficient futures. In: PPOPP, pp. 208–217. ACM (1993)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom van Dijk
    • 1
  • Jaco C. van de Pol
    • 1
  1. 1.Formal Methods and Tools, Dept. of EEMCSUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations