Concurrent timestamping made simple

Rainer Gawlick, Nancy Lynch, Nir Shavit

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


Concurrent Timestamp Systems (CTSS) allow processes to temporally order concurrent events in an asynchronous shared memory system. Bounded memory constructions of a CTSS are extremely powerful tools for concurrency control, and are the basis for solutions to many coordination problems including mutual exclusion, randomized consensus, and multi writer atomic registers. Unfortunately, known bounded CTSS constructions seem to be complex from the algorithmic point of view. Due to the importance of bounded CTSS, the rather involved original construction by Dolev and Shavit was followed by a series of papers that tried to provide more easily verifiable CTSS constructions. In this paper, we present what we believe is the simplest, most modular, and most easily proven bounded CTSS algorithm known to date. The algorithm is constructed and its correctness proven using several tools. Our algorithm combines the labeling method of the Dolev-Shavit CTSS with the atomic snapshot algorithm proposed in Afek et al. in a way that limits the amount of inter leavings that can occur. We prove the correctness of our algorithm by showing that it implements a simple, unbounded, real-number based CTSS specification. Our proof methodology is based on forward simulation techniques of the I/O Automata model.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheory of Computing and Systems - ISTCS 1992, Israel Symposium, Proceedings
EditorsDanny Dolev, Zvi Galil, Zvi Galil, Michael Rodeh
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783540555537
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes
EventIsrael Symposium on the Theory of Computing and Systems, ISTCS 1992 - Haifa, Israel
Duration: 27 May 199228 May 1992

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume601 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceIsrael Symposium on the Theory of Computing and Systems, ISTCS 1992


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