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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 14:58:52 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

Hi Julian,

"Julian Graham" <address@hidden> writes:

>       ...
>           scm_i_pthread_mutex_unlock (&m->lock);
>           SCM_TICK;
>           scm_i_scm_pthread_mutex_lock (&m->lock);
>         }
>       block_self (m->waiting, mutex, &m->lock, timeout);
> ...which means that if the loop is entered while the mutex is still
> locked but the owner unlocks it after the locking thread releases the
> administrative lock to run the tick, the locking thread will sleep
> forever because it doesn't re-check the state of the mutex.  I've made
> a small change (blocking before doing the tick instead of after) that
> seems to resolve the issue (so far no lock-ups using Han-Wen's x.test
> for a couple of hours).  There's a patch attached.

I think I understand your description, assuming "the mutex" is M, "the
administrative lock" is `M->lock', and "the state" is the rest of the
`fat_mutex' structure.

Let me rephrase it: what can happen is that, during the tick, another
thread could actually take M, increase `M->level' and mark itself as the
owner.  After the tick, our primary thread takes `M->lock' back,
thinking it now owns M, and goes to sleep; but M is actually already
taken by that other thread, so our primary thread never wakes up.  (Not
sure this description is any clearer...)

I guess it can be applied to 1.8 as well?

Another question: why is there this mixture of `scm_i_pthread' and
`scm_i_scm_pthread' calls?

Thanks for tracking it down!


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