Sequential Consistency applied

I have introduced In the post Sequential Consistency the default memory model. This model, in which all operations in all threads takes place in a global time clock, has a big advantage but also a big disadvantage.

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Synchronization and Ordering Constraints

In this post, our tour through the c++ memory model goes one step deeper. Until now, the posts were only about the atomicity of the atomic data types but now we deal with the synchronisation and ordering constraints of the operations.

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Atomics

In addition to booleans, there are atomics for pointers, integrals and user defined types. The rules for user-defined types are special.

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The Atomic Boolean

The remaining atomics - in contrast to std::atomic_flag - are partial or full specialisations of the class template std::atomic. Let's start with std::atomic<bool>.

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The Atomic Flag

Atomics guarantee two characteristics. At one hand, they are atomic, at the other hand, they provide synchronisation and order constraints on the program execution.

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Sequential Consistency

The atomics are the base of the C++ memory model. Per default, sequential consistency is applied.

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C++ Memory Model

Since C++11, C++ has a memory model. It is the foundation for multithreading. Without it, multithreading is not well defined. 

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Thread Synchronization with Condition Variables or Tasks

In case you are using  promise and future to synchronize threads, they have a lot in common with condition variables. But most of the time, task are the better choice.

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The Special Futures

The parent of a thread has to take care of its child. The parent can wait, until its child is done or detach itself from its child. But that is not really new. But that will not hold for std::async. The big charm of std::async is, that the parent has not take to care of its child.

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Promise and Future

With std::promise and std::future, you have the full control over the task.

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Tags: tasks
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