Step Optimal Implementations of Large Single-Writer Registers

Authors Tian Ze Chen, Yuanhao Wei

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Tian Ze Chen
Yuanhao Wei

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Tian Ze Chen and Yuanhao Wei. Step Optimal Implementations of Large Single-Writer Registers. In 20th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 70, pp. 32:1-32:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


We present two wait-free algorithms for simulating an l-bit single-writer register from k-bit single-writer registers, for any k >= 1. Our first algorithm has big-theta(l/k) step complexity for both Read and Write and uses big-theta (4^(l-k)) registers. An interesting feature of the algorithm is that Read operations do not write to shared variables. Our second algorithm has big-theta (l/k + (log n)/k) step complexity for both Read and Write, where n is the number of readers, but uses only big-theta (nl/k + n(log n)/k) registers. Combining both algorithms gives an implementation with big-theta (l/k) step complexity using big-theta (nl/k) space for any 1 <= k < l. We also prove that any implementation with big-O (l/k) step complexity for Read requires big-omega (l/k) step complexity for Write. Since reading l-bits requires at least ceiling(l/k) reads of k-bit registers, our lower bound shows that our implementation is step optimal.
  • atomic register
  • regular register
  • wait-free implementation
  • single writer
  • optimal


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