On Design and Applications of Practical Concurrent Data Structures
Doctoral thesis, 2018
The proliferation of multicore processors is having an enormous impact on software design and development. In order to exploit parallelism available in multicores, there is a need to design and implement abstractions that programmers can use for general purpose applications development. A common abstraction for coordinated access to memory is a concurrent data structure. Concurrent data structures are challenging to design and implement as they are required to be correct, scalable, and practical under various application constraints. In this thesis, we contribute to the design of efficient concurrent data structures, propose new design techniques and improvements to existing implementations. Additionally, we explore the utilization of concurrent data structures in demanding application contexts such as data stream processing.
In the first part of the thesis, we focus on data structures that are difficult to parallelize due to inherent sequential bottlenecks. We present a lock-free vector design that efficiently addresses synchronization bottlenecks by utilizing the combining technique. Typical combining techniques are blocking. Our design introduces combining without sacrificing non-blocking progress guarantees. We extend the vector to present a concurrent lock-free unbounded binary heap that implements a priority queue with mutable priorities.
In the second part of the thesis, we shift our focus to concurrent search data structures. In order to offer strong progress guarantee, typical implementations of non-blocking search data structures employ a "helping" mechanism. However, helping may result in performance degradation. We propose help-optimality, which expresses optimization in amortized step complexity of concurrent operations. To describe the concept, we revisit the lock-free designs of a linked-list and a binary search tree and present improved algorithms. We design the algorithms without using any language/platform specific constructs; we do not use bit-stealing or runtime type introspection of objects. Thus, our algorithms are portable. We further delve into multi-dimensional data and similarity search. We present the first lock-free multi-dimensional data structure and linearizable nearest neighbor search algorithm. Our algorithm for nearest neighbor search is generic and can be adapted to other data structures.
In the last part of the thesis, we explore the utilization of concurrent data structures for deterministic stream processing. We propose solutions to two challenges prevalent in data stream processing: (1) efficient processing on cloud as well as edge devices and (2) deterministic data-parallel processing at high-throughput and low-latency. As a first step, we present a methodology for customization of streaming aggregation on low-power multicore embedded platforms. Then we introduce Viper, a communication module that can be integrated into stream processing engines for the coordination of threads analyzing data in parallel.
concurrent data structures
ED, EDIT, Hörsalsvägen 11, Chalmers.
Opponent: Assoc. Prof. Danny Hendler, Department of Computer Science, Ben-Gurion University, Israel