Optimal Memory-Anonymous Symmetric Deadlock-Free Mutual Exclusion

10/08/2018 ∙ by Zahra Aghazadeh, et al. ∙ 0

The notion of an anonymous shared memory (recently introduced in PODC 2017) considers that processes use different names for the same memory location. Hence, there is permanent disagreement on the location names among processes. In this context, the PODC paper presented -among other results- a symmetric deadlock-free mutual exclusion (mutex) algorithm for two processes and a necessary condition on the size m of the anonymous memory for the existence of a symmetric deadlock-free mutex algorithm in an n-process system. This condition states that m must be greater than 1 and belong to the set M(n)={m:∀ ℓ:1<ℓ≤ n: (ℓ,m)=1} (symmetric means that, while each process has its own identity, process identities can only be compared with equality). The present paper answers several open problems related to symmetric deadlock-free mutual exclusion in an n-process system (n≥ 2) where the processes communicate through m registers. It first presents two algorithms. The first considers that the registers are anonymous read/write atomic registers and works for any m greater than 1 and belonging to the set M(n). It thus shows that this condition on m is both necessary and sufficient. The second algorithm considers anonymous read/modify/write atomic registers. It assumes that m∈ M(n). These algorithms differ in their design principles and their costs (measured as the number of registers which must contain the identity of a process to allow it to enter the critical section). The paper also shows that the condition m∈ M(n) is necessary for deadlock-free mutex on top of anonymous read/modify/write atomic registers. It follows that, when m>1, m∈ M(n) is a tight characterization of the size of the anonymous shared memory needed to solve deadlock-free mutex, be the anonymous registers read/write or read/modify/write.

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