Chapter 13 Atomic Objects

In this chapter, our last on the asynchronous shared memory model, we introduce atomic objects. An atomic object of a particular type is very much like an ordinary shared variable of that same type. The difference is that an atomic object can be accessed concurrently by several processes, whereas accesses to a shared variable are assumed to occur indivisibly. Even though accesses are concurrent, an atomic object ensures that the processes obtain responses that make it look like the accesses occur one at a time, in some sequential order that is consistent with the order of invocations and responses. Atomic objects are also sometimes called linearizable objects.

In addition to the atomicity property, most atomic objects ...

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