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Types for Atomicity: Static Checking and Inference for Java

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Executive Summary

Atomicity is a fundamental correctness property in multithreaded programs. A method is atomic if, for every execution, there is an equivalent serial execution in which the actions of the method are not interleaved with actions of other threads. Atomic methods are amenable to sequential reasoning, which significantly facilitates subsequent analysis and verification. This paper presents a type system for specifying and verifying the atomicity of methods in multithreaded Java programs using a synthesis of Lipton's theory of reduction and type systems for race detection. The type system supports guarded, write-guarded, and unguarded fields, as well as thread-local data, parameterized classes and methods, and protected locks.

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