Concurrency Kit: Towards accessible non-blocking technology for C

Registered by Paul McKenney on 2012-05-15


Despite more than 20 years of active research and development, non-blocking technologies remain inaccessible to many students, engineers and open-source projects. This is especially true in the context of an unmanaged language such as C despite its popularity in highly complex concurrent systems. Even in light of attractive performance properties, small to medium-sized corporations are extremely hesitant in adopting patent-free technology due to the technology lock-down associated with the various interfaces of existing concurrency libraries. To top it off, when introducing engineers to this area, many are overwhelmed by the literature and the sparsity of performance data.

This topic will walk the audience through the story of the struggles Samy and his peers have faced in the last couple of years in developing sufficient working knowledge to (efficiently) leverage existing non-blocking data structures as well as design, implement and verify new algorithms for use by mission-critical systems. It will highlight the holes faced in existing open-source projects tackling the concurrency problem for the C programming language and the literature associated with much of existing technology. The culmination of frustrations lead to the development of Concurrency Kit, a library designed to aid in the design and implementation of high performance concurrent systems. It is designed to minimize dependencies on operating system-specific interfaces and most of the interface relies only on a strict subset of the standard library and more popular compiler extensions.

Topic Lead: Samy Bahra <email address hidden>
Samy is an engineer focused on developing a leading, real-time low latency online advertising platform. Before moving to New York, Samy played a crucial role on the engineering team behind the leading high-performance messaging platform. Prior to that, he was an active member of a high-performance computing laboratory and was primarily involved with Unified Parallel C and the performance modeling and analysis of shared-memory multi-processor systems. He has been involved with several open-source projects.

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