[concurrency-interest] AtomicReference.updateAndGet() mandatory updating

Justin Sampson jsampson at guidewire.com
Sun May 28 01:23:06 EDT 2017

Alex Otenko wrote:

> Justin Sampson wrote:
> > Spurious failure is more about the read than the write, I think. With spurious
> > failure, you can't even rely on volatile read semantics if the CAS fails, because
> > failure doesn't give any information at all about the current value. Without
> > spurious failure, at the very least you know that the current value != the
> > expected value if the CAS fails.
> No, that’s not spurious enough failure.
> Spurious failure can mean CAS failed because the cache line from which the
> value was read got invalidated (available on some weak memory platforms).
> So you can’t tell even whether the value was != expected or not, or whether
> someone modified a different value that happens to share the cache line -
> hence spurious.
> In this setting it does not seem possible to detect whether the read was
> volatile or not.

I think that's what I said: If spurious failure is allowed, failure doesn't tell you
anything about the current state of the variable, and doesn't count as a
volatile read. If spurious failure is not allowed, failure does tell you something
about the current state of the variable, and should count as a volatile read.
That's clearly a different concern from whether a failure counts as a volatile
_write_, which is the difference I thought you were asking about.

(And thanks for fleshing out your example to the point where we can see the
whole sequence of actions in both threads.)


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