[concurrency-interest] ConcurrentSkipListMap visibility guarantees

Alexandre De Champeaux alexandre.dechampeaux at imc.com
Wed Jun 3 20:57:37 EDT 2020

Hello concurrency interest,

I just came across some old code that concurrently does the following:

  1.  Remove Object o from ConcurrentSkipListMap
  2.  Mutate Object o
  3.  Add Object o back
Sometimes, the remove will fail.

I was wondering how badly this is abusing the guarantees of ConcurrentSkipListMap, and what makes the remove fail?

Here is some code that reproduces (tried with Java 8u241 and 13.0.2):

public class ConcurrentSkipListMapMissingRemove {
    private final static AtomicLong SEQUENCE_CREATOR = new AtomicLong();
    private final static Comparator<DummyTimer> myTimerComparator = Comparator.comparing(DummyTimer::getSequence);
    private final static ConcurrentSkipListMap<DummyTimer, Long> theTimers = new ConcurrentSkipListMap<>(myTimerComparator);

    public static void main(String[] args) throws InterruptedException {
        for (int i = 0; i < 10; ++i) {
            CompletableFuture.runAsync(() -> {
                DummyTimer myDummyTimer = new DummyTimer();

                while (true) {


    private static class DummyTimer {
        private volatile long theSequence;

        void start() {

        void restart() {
            theSequence = SEQUENCE_CREATOR.getAndIncrement();

        private void add() {
            theTimers.put(this, theSequence);

        private void remove() {
            if (theTimers.remove(this) == null) {
                System.out.println("Ooops, failed to remove...");

        public long getSequence() {
            return theSequence;


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