Tight RMR lower bounds for mutual exclusion and other problems

Hagit Attiya, Danny Hendler, Philipp Woelfel

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

54 Scopus citations


We investigate the remote memory references (RMRs) complexity of deterministic processes that communicate by reading and writing shared memory in asynchronous cache-coherent and distributed shared-memory multiprocessors. We define a class of algorithms that we call order encoding. By applying information-theoretic arguments, we prove that every order encoding algorithm, shared by n processes, has an execution that incurs ω(n log n) RMRs. From this we derive the same lower bound for the mutual exclusion, bounded counter and store/collect synchronization problems. The bounds we obtain for these problems are tight. It follows from the results of [10] that our lower bounds hold also for algorithms that can use comparison primitives and load-linked/store-conditional in addition to reads and writes. Our mutual exclusion lower bound proves a longstanding conjecture of Anderson and Kim.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSTOC'08
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2008 ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781605580470
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008
Event40th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 2008 - Victoria, BC, Canada
Duration: 17 May 200820 May 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing
ISSN (Print)0737-8017


Conference40th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 2008
CityVictoria, BC


  • Bounded counter
  • Information theory
  • Lower bound techniques
  • Mutual exclusion
  • Shared-memory
  • Store/collect object

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


Dive into the research topics of 'Tight RMR lower bounds for mutual exclusion and other problems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this