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Locks are typically used to ensure exclusive access to shared memory locations. Unfortunately, lock operations are expensive, so much work has been done on optimizing their performance for common access patterns. One such pattern found for e.g., is in networking applications, where there is a single thread dominating lock accesses. An important trivial case of this occurs when a single-threaded program calls a thread-safe library that uses locks. An effective way to optimize this dominant-thread pattern is to "bias" the lock implementation so that accesses by the dominant thread have negligible overhead.
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