From non-preemptive to preemptive scheduling using synchronization synthesis Journal Article

Author(s): Cerný, Pavol; Clarke, Edmund M; Henzinger, Thomas A; Radhakrishna, Arjun; Ryzhyk, Leonid; Samanta, Roopsha; Tarrach, Thorsten
Article Title: From non-preemptive to preemptive scheduling using synchronization synthesis
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: We present a computer-aided programming approach to concurrency. The approach allows programmers to program assuming a friendly, non-preemptive scheduler, and our synthesis procedure inserts synchronization to ensure that the final program works even with a preemptive scheduler. The correctness specification is implicit, inferred from the non-preemptive behavior. Let us consider sequences of calls that the program makes to an external interface. The specification requires that any such sequence produced under a preemptive scheduler should be included in the set of sequences produced under a non-preemptive scheduler. We guarantee that our synthesis does not introduce deadlocks and that the synchronization inserted is optimal w.r.t. a given objective function. The solution is based on a finitary abstraction, an algorithm for bounded language inclusion modulo an independence relation, and generation of a set of global constraints over synchronization placements. Each model of the global constraints set corresponds to a correctness-ensuring synchronization placement. The placement that is optimal w.r.t. the given objective function is chosen as the synchronization solution. We apply the approach to device-driver programming, where the driver threads call the software interface of the device and the API provided by the operating system. Our experiments demonstrate that our synthesis method is precise and efficient. The implicit specification helped us find one concurrency bug previously missed when model-checking using an explicit, user-provided specification. We implemented objective functions for coarse-grained and fine-grained locking and observed that different synchronization placements are produced for our experiments, favoring a minimal number of synchronization operations or maximum concurrency, respectively.
Keywords: synthesis; concurrency; NFA language inclusion; MaxSAT
Journal Title: Formal Methods in System Design
Volume: 50
Issue 2-3
ISSN: 0925-9856
Publisher: Springer  
Date Published: 2017-06-01
Start Page: 97
End Page: 139
Copyright Statement: CC BY 4.0
DOI: 10.1007/s10703-016-0256-5
Notes: Open access funding provided by Institute of Science and Technology (IST Austria). This research was supported in part by the European Research Council (ERC) under Grant 267989 (QUAREM), by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) under Grants S11402-N23 (RiSE) and Z211-N23 (Wittgenstein Award), by NSF under award CCF 1421752 and the Expeditions award CCF 1138996, by the Simons Foundation, and by a gift from the Intel Corporation.
Open access: yes (OA journal)