Queue-Dispatch Asynchronous Systems

Gilles Geeraerts, Alexander Heußner, Jean-François Raskin

To make the development of efficient multi-core applications easier, libraries, such as Grand Central Dispatch, have been proposed. When using such a library, the programmer writes so-called blocks, which are chunks of codes, and dispatches them, using synchronous or asynchronous calls, to several types of waiting queues. A scheduler is then responsible for dispatching those blocks on the available cores. Blocks can synchronize via a global memory. In this paper, we propose Queue-Dispatch Asynchronous Systems as a mathematical model that faithfully formalizes the synchronization mechanisms and the behavior of the scheduler in those systems. We study in detail their relationships to classical formalisms such as pushdown systems, Petri nets, fifo systems, and counter systems. Our main technical contributions are precise worst-case complexity results for the Parikh coverability problem for several subclasses of our model.

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