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Software transactional memories for Scala

Daniel Goodman and Behram Khan and Salman Khan and Mikel Luján and Ian Watson


Transactional memory is an alternative to locks for handling concurrency in multi-threaded environments. Instead of providing critical regions that only one thread can enter at a time, transactional memory records sufficient information to detect and correct for conflicts if they occur. This paper surveys the range of options for implementing software transactional memory in Scala. Where possible, we provide references to implementations that instantiate each technique. As part of this survey, we document for the first time several techniques developed in the implementation of Manchester University Transactions for Scala. We order the implementation techniques on a scale moving from the least to the most invasive in terms of modifications to the compilation and runtime environment. This shows that, while the less invasive options are easier to implement and more common, they are more verbose and invasive in the codes using them, often requiring changes to the syntax and program structure throughout the code.