Testing shared memories

Phillip B. Gibbons, Ephraim Korach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Sequential consistency is the most widely used correctness condition for multiprocessor memory systems. This paper studies the problem of testing shared-memory multiprocessors to determine if they are indeed providing a sequentially consistent memory. It presents the first formal study of this problem, which has applications to testing new memory system designs and realizations, providing run-time fault tolerance, and detecting bugs in parallel programs. A series of results are presented for testing an execution of a shared memory under various scenarios, comparing sequential consistency with linearizability, another well-known correctness condition. Linearizability imposes additional restrictions on the shared memory, beyond that of sequential consistency; these restrictions are shown to be useful in testing such memories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1208-1244
Number of pages37
JournalSIAM Journal on Computing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997


  • Linearizability
  • Multiprocessors
  • NP-completeness
  • Shared memory
  • Squential consistency
  • Testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Mathematics


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