Tuning the Level of Concurrency in Software Transactional Memory: An Overview of Recent Analytical, Machine Learning and Mixed Approaches

Diego Rughetti, Pierangelo Di Sanzo, Alessandro Pellegrini, Bruno Ciciani, and Francesco Quaglia

Published in: Transactional Memory. Foundations, Algorithms, Tools, and Applications—Springer International Publishing,2015

Synchronization transparency offered by Software Transactional Memory (STM) must not come at the expense of run-time efficiency, thus demanding from the STM-designer the inclusion of mechanisms properly oriented to performance and other quality indexes. Particularly, one core issue to cope with in STM is related to exploiting parallelism while also avoiding thrashing phenomena due to excessive transaction rollbacks, caused by excessively high levels of contention on logical resources, namely concurrently accessed data portions. A means to address run-time efficiency consists in dynamically determining the best-suited level of concurrency (number of threads) to be employed for running the application (or specific application phases) on top of the STM layer. For too low levels of concurrency, parallelism can be hampered. Conversely, over-dimensioning the concurrency level may give rise to the aforementioned thrashing phenomena caused by excessive data contention—an aspect which has reflections also on the side of reduced energy-efficiency. In this chapter we overview a set of recent techniques aimed at building “application-specific” performance models that can be exploited to dynamically tune the level of concurrency to the best-suited value. Although they share some base concepts while modeling the system performance vs the degree of concurrency, these techniques rely on disparate methods, such as machine learning or analytic methods (or combinations of the two), and achieve different tradeoffs in terms of the relation between the precision of the performance model and the latency for model instantiation. Implications of the different tradeoffs in real-life scenarios are also discussed.

BibTeX Entry:

author = {Rughetti, Diego and Di Sanzo, Pierangelo and Pellegrini, Alessandro and Ciciani, Bruno and Quaglia, Francesco},
booktitle = {Transactional Memory. Foundations, Algorithms, Tools, and Applications},
publisher = {Springer International Publishing},
title = {Tuning the Level of Concurrency in Software Transactional Memory: An Overview of Recent Analytical, Machine Learning and Mixed Approaches},
year = {2015},
editor = {Guerraoui, Rachid and Romano, Paolo},
isbn = {978-3-319-14719-2},
pages = {395--417},
series = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
volume = {8913},
doi = {10.1007/978-3-319-14720-8_18}