[concurrency-interest] Concurrent Read/Write without Synchronization

Insane Membrane mettafort at gmail.com
Sat Dec 18 09:46:01 EST 2010

David and Joe,

Thanks for clearing up this for me.  This is what I expected, namely that no
guarantee exists of the question I asked, without some form of
synchronization.  Thank you both.

On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 10:20 PM, David Holmes <davidcholmes at aapt.net.au>wrote:

>  A thread need only see a write performed by another thread if there is a
> happens-before relationship between the read and the write. Without that
> various things can happen at the both the VM/JIT level and at the hardware
> level.
> The JIT can transform code such that a field is not read because its value
> is not written in the current code eg:
>    class Service {
>       boolean stopped = false;
>      void stop() { stopped = true};
>      void run() {
>         while (!stopped) doStuff();
>      }
>   }
> the JIT can transform run() as if it were written:
>    if (!stopped)
>       while(true) doStuff();
> At the hardware level stores/writes can languish in buffers longer than
> might be expected and stores and loads (reads and writes) cam be reordered
> in surprising ways.
> Without the right synchronization actions to enforce the happens-before
> ordering, there are no guarantees of the kind your question asks.
> David Holmes
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* concurrency-interest-bounces at cs.oswego.edu [mailto:
> concurrency-interest-bounces at cs.oswego.edu]*On Behalf Of *Insane Membrane
> *Sent:* Saturday, 18 December 2010 12:29 PM
> *To:* concurrency-interest at cs.oswego.edu
> *Subject:* [concurrency-interest] Concurrent Read/Write without
> Synchronization
> Hi-
> Could someone please answer this simple question for me? I have two
> threads, A and B, and they share an object P that has an integer property
> called x.  The first question is, if A sets x to a value, but B only ever
> reads x, will B ALWAYS see the latest value of x?  So A does x = x + 1.
>  Will B always see x with the new value? We were under the impression the
> latest value could still be sitting in the cache of A, but not visible in B.
>  This would be one reason for the volatile or interlocked operations?
>  Similarly, if we have an object reference and we set it onto some
> public/global reference, all threads would always see whatever had been
> written to this global reference IMMEDIATELY, without any needs for
> synchronization or interlocked?
> This is assuming the int is 32bit on a 32bit machine, and the reference is
> the same too.
> Thank you,
> mf.
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