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From: Jeffrey Yasskin (jyasskin_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-01-19 04:23:25

On Jan 18, 2008 10:34 AM, Peter Dimov <pdimov_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> Jeffrey Yasskin:
> > Porting lock-free data structures from Java is complicated by the fact
> > that the implementations assume garbage collection. There are a few
> > techniques available for dealing with manual memory management without
> > locks, but they complicate the implementation of algorithms that are
> > complex enough already. So I'm thinking about trying to implement an
> > atomic_shared_ptr<T> along the lines of the interface for other
> > atomics defined in
> > but
> > using shared_ptr<T> as a value type. The implementation I'm thinking
> > of uses hazard pointers
> > ( and double-wide-cas
> > (cmpxchg16b on x86-64). So I have three questions for this list:
> >
> > 1) Would there be interest in adding such a type to the Boost smart
> > pointers?
> I (and many others) will be very, very interested in your implementation,
> doubly so if you implement it using the interface proposed in

Thanks for the support! I currently plan to extrapolate from the
design of atomic<T> from N2427 instead of adding operations to
shared_ptr itself. The requirement that "A program is allowed to
access the same shared_ptr instance concurrently from multiple threads
if the access is done exclusively via the member functions in this
section." implies that instances accessed through those three methods
are logically a separate type from instances accessed through other
methods. Overloading an existing type to include two distinct logical
types sounds like a recipe for trouble.

> I can't guarantee that your implementation will make it into Boost since
> hazard pointers are rumored to be patent-encumbered.


> > 2) Has someone already done this?
> If you google :-) for Joe Seigh's atomic_ptr, you'll find his
> implementation. It doesn't implement the entire shared_ptr interface though,
> so your implementation will be unique in this regard.

Thanks, that looks like a good place to start, although by not
implementing shared_ptr<>'s casting ability, he gets around one
significant difficulty.

On Jan 18, 2008 12:43 PM, Cory Nelson <phrosty_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> Athlon 64s (pre-dual core) do not have cmpxchg16b - how do you plan to
> get around that?

The same way atomic<struct {int* a, int* b}> gets around it in N2427:
return false from .is_lock_free() and use a spin lock. That's why I
was looking for someone else's implementation of atomic<T>; I'd rather
not implement that switching myself if I can avoid it. :)

Tim's solution is tempting, but I think incorrect, because the two
words are actually used for two whole pointers
(object+refcount_object). Hazard pointers for the refcount object
prevent the ABA problem and ensure that it stays alive long enough for
me to increment its refcount, although there may be other ways to
ensure that too. I'm not certain this actually works; I just wanted to
check that nobody else had already finished before starting on the

Jeffrey Yasskin

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