Brief Announcement: Fast and Scalable Group Mutual Exclusion

Authors Shreyas Gokhale , Neeraj Mittal

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Shreyas Gokhale
  • The University of Texas at Dallas , Richardson, TX 75080, USA
Neeraj Mittal
  • The University of Texas at Dallas , Richardson, TX 75080, USA

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Shreyas Gokhale and Neeraj Mittal. Brief Announcement: Fast and Scalable Group Mutual Exclusion. In 32nd International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 121, pp. 49:1-49:3, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


The group mutual exclusion (GME) problem is a generalization of the classical mutual exclusion problem in which every critical section is associated with a type or session. Critical sections belonging to the same session can execute concurrently, whereas critical sections belonging to different sessions must be executed serially. The well-known read-write mutual exclusion problem is a special case of the group mutual exclusion problem. In a shared memory system, locks based on traditional mutual exclusion or its variants are commonly used to manage contention among processes. In concurrent algorithms based on fine-grained synchronization, a single lock is used to protect access to a small number of shared objects (e.g., a lock for every tree node) so as to minimize contention window. Evidently, a large number of shared objects in the system would translate into a large number of locks. Also, when fine-grained synchronization is used, most lock accesses are expected to be uncontended in practice. Most existing algorithms for the solving the GME problem have high space-complexity per lock. Further, all algorithms except for one have high step-complexity in the uncontented case. This makes them unsuitable for use in concurrent algorithms based on fine-grained synchronization. In this work, we present a novel GME algorithm for an asynchronous shared-memory system that has O(1) space-complexity per GME lock when the system contains a large number of GME locks as well as O(1) step-complexity when the system contains no conflicting requests.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Concurrent algorithms
  • Group Mutual Exclusion
  • Fine-Grained Synchronization
  • Space Complexity
  • Contention-Free Step Complexity


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