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The Synergy Between Non-blocking Synchronization and Operating System Structure

Michael Greenwald and David Cheriton gif
Computer Science Department
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-9040


Non-blocking synchronization has significant advantages over blocking synchronization: however, it has not been used to a significant degree in practice. We designed and implemented a multiprocessor operating system kernel and run-time library for high-performance, reliability and modularity. We used non-blocking synchronization, not because it was an objective in itself, but because it became the approach of choice. It was an attractive approach because of the synergy between other structuring techniques we used to achieve our primary goals and the benefits of non-blocking synchronization.

This paper describes this synergy: the structuring techniques we used which facilitated non-blocking synchronization and our experience with this implementation.

Michael Greenwald
Thu Sep 19 12:18:20 PDT 1996