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Concurrent Specifications Beyond Linearizability

Authors Éric Goubault, Jérémy Ledent, Samuel Mimram

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Éric Goubault
  • École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
Jérémy Ledent
  • École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
Samuel Mimram
  • École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France

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Éric Goubault, Jérémy Ledent, and Samuel Mimram. Concurrent Specifications Beyond Linearizability. In 22nd International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 125, pp. 28:1-28:16, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


With the advent of parallel architectures, distributed programs are used intensively and the question of how to formally specify the behaviors expected from such programs becomes crucial. A very general way to specify concurrent objects is to simply give the set of all the execution traces that we consider correct for the object. In many cases, one is only interested in studying a subclass of these concurrent specifications, and more convenient tools such as linearizability can be used to describe them. In this paper, what we call a concurrent specification will be a set of execution traces that moreover satisfies a number of axioms. As we argue, these are actually the only concurrent specifications of interest: we prove that, in a reasonable computational model, every program satisfies all of our axioms. Restricting to this class of concurrent specifications allows us to formally relate our concurrent specifications with the ones obtained by linearizability, as well as its more recent variants (set- and interval-linearizability).

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Concurrency
  • concurrent specification
  • concurrent object
  • linearizability


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