Abstraction for Weakly Consistent Systems

Date: 17:00, Thursday, May 23, 2013
Speaker: Alexey Gotsman
Venue: TU Wien

When constructing complex concurrent and distributed systems, abstraction is vital: programmers should be able to reason about system components in terms of abstract specifications that hide the implementation details. Nowadays such components often provide only weak consistency guarantees about the data they manage: in shared-memory systems because of the effects of relaxed memory models, and in distributed systems because of the effects of replication. This makes existing notions of component abstraction inapplicable.

In this talk I will describe our ongoing effort to specify consistency guarantees provided by modern shared-memory and distributed systems in a uniform framework and to propose notions of abstraction for components of such systems. I will illustrate our results using the examples of the C/C++ memory model and eventually consistent distributed systems.

This is joint work with Mark Batty (University of Cambridge), Sebastian Burckhardt (Microsoft Research), Mike Dodds (University of York), Hongseok Yang (University of Oxford) and Marek Zawirski (UPMC).

Posted in RiSE Seminar