Conference Paper

Multiset signatures for transactional memory.

DOI: 10.1145/1995896.1995905 Conference: Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Supercomputing, 2011, Tucson, AZ, USA, May 31 - June 04, 2011
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT Transactional Memory (TM) systems must record the memory locations read and written (read and write sets) by concurrent transactions in order to detect conflicts. Some TM implementations use signatures for this purpose, which summarize read and write sets in bounded hardware at the cost of false positives (detection of non-existing conflicts). Read/write signatures are usually implemented as two separate Bloom filters with the same size. In contrast, transactions usually exhibit read/write sets of uneven cardinality, where read sets use to be larger than write sets. Thus, the read filter populates earlier than the write one and, consequently the read signature false positive rate may be high while the write filter has still a low occupation. In this paper, a multiset signature design is proposed which records both the read and write sets in the same Bloom filter without adding significant hardware complexity. Several designs of multiset signatures are analyzed and evaluated. New problems arise related to hardware complexity and the existence of cross false positives, i.e. new false positives coming from the fact that both sets share the same filter. Additionally, multiset signatures are enhanced using locality-sensitive hashing, proposed by the authors in a previous work. Experimental results show that the multiset approach is able to reduce the false positive rate and improve the execution performance in most of the tested codes, without increasing the required hardware area in a noticeable amount.

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    ABSTRACT: Optimistic concurrency provided by Transactional Memory (TM) makes it a good candidate for maintaining synchronization in future multi-core processors. Speculative execution and bulk level conflict detection enable TM to provide synchronization at fine grain without the complexity of managing fine grain locks. Early hardware TM systems proposed to store the information needed for checking conflicts in the Level 1 (L1) cache, thereby limiting the size of a transaction to the size of the L1 cache. The introduction of signatures to TM systems removed this limitation and allowed transactions to be of any size. However signatures produce false positives which leads to performance degradation in TM systems. The objective of introducing signatures to TM is that the size of a transaction can be bigger than the L1 cache. Once signatures are integrated to a TM system, they are used to detect conflicts regardless of the size of a transaction. This means signatures are being used even for transactions that can store their read and write sets in the L1 cache. Based on this observation we propose SnCTM, a TM system that adaptively changes the source used to detect conflicts. In our approach, when a transaction fits in the L1 cache, cache line information is used to detect conflicts and signatures are used otherwise. By adaptively changing the source, SnCTM achieved up to 4.62 and 2.93 times speed-up over a baseline TM using lazy versioning and lazy conflict detection with two commonly used signature configurations. We also show that our system, even with a smaller signature (64 bit), can achieve performance comparable to a system with a perfect signature (8k bit).
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