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Re: Race condition in threading code?

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Race condition in threading code?
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 22:08:37 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)


Andy Wingo <address@hidden> writes:

> ERROR: srfi-18.test: thread-start!:
>   thread activates only after start
>    - arguments: ((syntax-error "memoization"
>                   "In file ~S, line ~S: ~A ~S in expression ~S."
>                   ("/home/lilydev/vc/guile/srfi/srfi-18.scm" 135
>                    "Bad binding" ct
>                     (let (ct (current-thread))
>                     address@hidden (or (hashq-ref thread-exception-handlers 
> ct)
>                           (hashq-set! thread-exception-handlers ct
>                     (list initial-handler))))) #f))

I'm seeing this as well, but it's a address@hidden' here (single-binding `let's
are memoized as address@hidden'):

  ((syntax-error "memoization"
                 "In file ~S, line ~S: ~A ~S in expression ~S."
                 ("/home/ludo/src/guile/srfi/srfi-18.scm" 138
                  "Bad binding"
                  (address@hidden (ct (#<variable b7d28110 value: 
#<primitive-procedure current-thread>>))
                    (address@hidden (#<variable b7d2ad88 value: 
#<primitive-procedure hashq-ref>>
                                      #<variable 839df08 value: 
#<weak-key-hash-table 1/31>> address@hidden)
                          (#<variable b7d2adc0 value: #<primitive-procedure 
hashq-set!>> #<variable 839df08 value: #<weak-key-hash-table 1/31>> 
address@hidden (#<variable b7d2c498 value: #<primitive-procedure list>> 
#<variable 839d130 value: #<procedure initial-handler (obj)>>))

It can be reproduced, but very infrequently, with this program:

  (use-modules (ice-9 threads))

  (define (foo x y)
    (let ((z (+ x y)))
      (let ((a (+ z 1)))
        (let ((b (- a 2)))
          (let ((c (* b 3)))

  (define (entry)
    (foo 1 2))

  (for-each (lambda (i) (make-thread entry))
            (iota 123))

My explanation is that the `let*' memoizer, aka. `scm_m_letstar ()', is
not thread-safe; it's clearly not atomic, and it's of course not
protected by a mutex or so.

I can't think of any simple fix.  `scm_m_letstar ()' could be made
atomic by having it duplicate the input list instead of modifying it
directly; it could then atomically update the input.  However,
allocating cells during memoization wouldn't be a good idea


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