[concurrency-interest] Should I avoid compareAndSet with value-based classes?

Alex Otenko oleksandr.otenko at gmail.com
Fri Jul 7 05:24:52 EDT 2017

(of course, for platforms that don’t support atomic 64-bit writes)


> On 7 Jul 2017, at 10:23, Alex Otenko <oleksandr.otenko at gmail.com> wrote:
> No, not only updates, but reads, too.
> If you assume non-atomic updates, the problem becomes just like with volatile long - has to use synchronized block for all accesses.
> Alex
>> On 7 Jul 2017, at 10:20, Andrew Haley <aph at redhat.com> wrote:
>> On 06/07/17 20:12, Gil Tene wrote:
>>> The answer to this is generally "But… concurrency!". Which is why
>>> this is an ok place to chat about it probably. With no identity, how
>>> do you achieve atomic updates? Michael's MutableClock example
>>> (scroll down) of wanting to (potentially concurrently) add duration
>>> amounts to some notion of a point in time, while avoiding the
>>> potential for "losing" an add racy situations, requires some sort of
>>> synchronization. Since Instant is not mutable, and we are
>>> necessarily trying to atomically replace one Instant value with
>>> another, we have a problem with the notion that these values have no
>>> identity (and therefore no way to do a proper CAS on).
>> In practice it doesn't matter, because you don't need to CAS a
>> reference to an Instant: all you need to do is to wrap all of the
>> updates to that reference in synchronized blocks.  Readers don't need
>> anything more than for that reference to be volatile.  The
>> immutability of Instant and the sequential consistency of volatile
>> provide all the guarantees that anyone needs or are possible.
>> I doubt that a synchronized block is going to perform much more badly
>> than spinning in a CAS loop, especially in the presence of high
>> contention.  In the many readers/few writers situation that Michael
>> describes this is the optimal solution.
>> -- 
>> Andrew Haley
>> Java Platform Lead Engineer
>> Red Hat UK Ltd. <https://www.redhat.com>
>> EAC8 43EB D3EF DB98 CC77 2FAD A5CD 6035 332F A671
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