Association for Computing Machinery
Hardware Transactional Memory offers a promising high performance and easier to program alternative to lock-based synchronization for creating parallel programs. This is particularly important as hardware manufacturers continue to put more cores on die. But transactional memory still has one main drawback: contention. Contention is caused by multiple transactions trying to speculatively modify the same memory location concurrently causing one or more transactions to abort and retry its execution. Contention serializes the execution, meaning high contention leads to very poor parallel performance. As more cores are added, contention worsens. To date contention-manager designs have been primarily reactive in nature and limited to various forms of randomized backoff to effectively stall contending transactions when conflicts occur.