Strongly Linearizable Linked List and Queue

Authors Steven Munsu Hwang, Philipp Woelfel

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Author Details

Steven Munsu Hwang
  • University of Calgary, Canada
Philipp Woelfel
  • University of Calgary, Canada

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Steven Munsu Hwang and Philipp Woelfel. Strongly Linearizable Linked List and Queue. In 25th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 217, pp. 28:1-28:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)


Strong linearizability is a correctness condition conceived to address the inadequacies of linearzability when using implemented objects in randomized algorithms. Due to its newfound nature, not many strongly linearizable implementations of data structures are known. In particular, very little is known about what can be achieved in terms of strong linearizability with strong primitives that are available in modern systems, such as the compare-and-swap (CAS) operation. This paper kick-starts the research into filling this gap. We show that Harris’s linked list and Michael and Scott’s queue, two well-known lock-free, linearizable data structures, are not strongly linearizable. In addition, we give modifications to these data structures to make them strongly linearizable while maintaining lock-freedom. The algorithms we describe are the first instances of non-trivial, strongly linearizable data structures of their type not derived by a universal construction.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Shared memory algorithms
  • Strong linearizability
  • compare-and-swap
  • linked list
  • queue
  • lock-freedom


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