Strong consistency in parallel systems provides high programmability, but requires expensive coordination and scales poorly. This challenge exists in multiple layers of abstraction across the whole hardware and software stack. Examples include multicore processors, parallel transaction processing, and distributed systems.
In this talk, I will introduce a simple primitive called logical leases to achieve strong consistency while maintaining good scalability and performance. Logical leases allow a system to avoid conflicts by reordering operations in both physical and logical time. I have applied logical leases across the hardware/software stack and implemented three new systems on top of it: a cache coherence protocol (Tardis), a multicore concurrency control algorithm (TicToc), and a distributed transaction management protocol (Sundial). Logical leases improve these systems in terms of simplicity, scalability, and performance compared to state-of-the-art implementations. I will also discuss my vision for future high-performance strongly consistent parallel systems through hardware and software codesign.
Xiangyao Yu is a fifth year PhD from CSAIL, MIT where he is advised by Srinivas Devadas. His research interests include computer architecture and databases. He is interested in improving performance and efficiency of parallel systems through both hardware and software innovations. Before starting his PhD, he received his BS degree from the department of microelectronics at Tsinghua University in 2012.