Mathematizing C++ Concurrency

Batty, Mark and Owens, Scott and Sarkar, Susmit and Sewell, Peter and Weber, Tjark (2011) Mathematizing C++ Concurrency. In: POPL '11: 38th Annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, January 26th - 28th 2011, Austin, USA. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1926385.1926394

Abstract

Shared-memory concurrency in C and C++ is pervasive in systems programming, but has long been poorly defined. This motivated an ongoing shared effort by the standards committees to specify concurrent behaviour in the next versions of both languages. They aim to provide strong guarantees for race-free programs, together with new (but subtle) relaxed-memory atomic primitives for high-performance concurrent code. However, the current draft standards, while the result of careful deliberation, are not yet clear and rigorous definitions, and harbour substantial problems in their details. In this paper we establish a mathematical (yet readable) semantics for C++ concurrency. We aim to capture the intent of the current (`Final Committee') Draft as closely as possible, but discuss changes that fix many of its problems. We prove that a proposed x86 implementation of the concurrency primitives is correct with respect to the x86-TSO model, and describe our Cppmem tool for exploring the semantics of examples, using code generated from our Isabelle/HOL definitions. Having already motivated changes to the draft standard, this work will aid discussion of any further changes, provide a correctness condition for compilers, and give a much-needed basis for analysis and verification of concurrent C and C++ programs.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Computing > Programming Languages and Systems Group
Depositing User: Scott Owens
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2012 10:12
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2013 13:53
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/31896 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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