Mark Moir – Principal Investigator, Scalable Synchronization Research Group, Oracle Labs (USA – New Zealand)

Mark Moir

Presentation at III Multicore World

Adaptive Integration of Hardware and Software Lock Elision Techniques

Mark Moir, Oracle – USA / New Zealand


Hardware Transactional Memory (HTM) has recently entered mainstream computing.  There has been significant research into ways to exploit HTM, ranging from supporting new transactional programming models, to supporting scalable concurrent data structures, to “transactional lock elision” (TLE) techniques, which use HTM to boost performance and scalability of applications based on traditional lock-based programming with no changes to application code.

In recent work, we have been exploring the use of software techniques that similarly aim to improve the scalability of lock-based programs. These techniques involve somewhat more programmer effort than TLE but work in the absence of HTM, and furthermore can provide benefits in cases in which HTM is available but not effective. Different combinations of these hardware and software techniques are most effective in different environments and for different workloads.

This talk introduces the Adaptive Lock Elision (ALE) library, which supports integration of these techniques and facilitates dynamic choices between them at runtime, guided by a pluggable policy. Results of preliminary evaluation on four different platforms—two of which support HTM—will be presented.  Our results illustrate the need for policies that adapt to the platform and workload, and evaluate preliminary work in this direction.



Mark Moir received the B.Sc.(Hons.) degree in Computer Science from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 1988, and the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA in 1996.  From August 1996 until June 2000, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh.  In June 2000, he joined Sun Labs.  Moir is now the Principal Investigator of the Scalable Synchronization Research Group in Oracle Labs, due to Oracle acquiring Sun in 2010.

Dr. Moir was named as a Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer in 2009.  His main research interests concern practical and theoretical aspects of concurrent, distributed, and real-time computing.  His current research focuses on hardware and software mechanisms for making it easier to develop scalable, efficient, and correct concurrent programs for shared-memory multiprocessors.



Mark Moir at I Multicore World (Wellington – 2012) – “Concurrency and synchronization in an increasingly multicore world” – video

Mark Moir at II Multicore World (Wellington – 2013) – “Transactional memory hardware, algorithms, and C++ language features”