Adaptive randomized mutual exclusion in sub-logarithmic expected time

Danny Hendler, Philipp Woelfel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Mutual exclusion is a fundamental distributed coordination problem. Shared-memory mutual exclusion research focuses on local-spin algorithms and uses the remote memory references (RMRs) metric. A mutual exclusion algorithm is adaptive to point contention, if its RMR complexity is a function of the maximum number of processes concurrently executing their entry, critical, or exit section. In the best prior art deterministic adaptive mutual exclusion algorithm, presented by Kim and Anderson [22], a process performs O(min(k; logN)) RMRs as it enters and exits its critical section, where k is point contention and N is the number of processes in the system. Kim and Anderson also proved that a deterministic algorithm with o(k) RMR complexity does not exist [21]. However, they describe a randomized mutual exclusion algorithm that has O(log k) expected RMR complexity against an oblivious adversary. All these results apply for algorithms that use only atomic read and write operations. We present a randomized adaptive mutual exclusion algorithms with O(log k/ log log k) expected amortized RMR complexity, even against a strong adversary, for the cachecoherent shared memory read/write model. Using techniques similar to those used in [17], our algorithm can be adapted for the distributed shared memory read/write model. This establishes that sub-logarithmic adaptive mutual exclusion, using reads and writes only, is possible.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPODC'10 - Proceedings of the 2010 ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2010
Event29th ACM SIGACT-SIGOPS Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, PODC 2010 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 25 Jul 201028 Jul 2010


Conference29th ACM SIGACT-SIGOPS Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, PODC 2010


  • Adaptive
  • Distributed algorithms
  • Mutual exclusion
  • RMRs
  • Remote memory references

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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