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Verifying Concurrent Programs with Relaxed Conflict Detection

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In a frequently-encountered pattern in concurrent programs, an operation first reads a large portion of shared data, then performs local computation, and finally writes to a small portion of shared data. This pattern leads to frequent conflicts between operations intended to appear atomic. To provide good performance alongside atomicity, implementations ranging from fine-grain locking to variations on transactional memory™ have been investigated.

We present an approach for statically verifying TM-based solutions with programmer-directed conflict detection. We show how static correctness proofs of such programs can be streamlined. The key challenge is that one can no longer reason sequentially within transactions. To address this challenge, we provide an abstraction recipe that restores the ability to reason sequentially. We demonstrate our approach by mechanically verifying examples from the STAMP benchmark suite.

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