Wait-free test-and-set

Extended abstract
  • Yehuda Afek
  • Eli Gafni
  • John Tromp
  • Paul M. B. Vitanyi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 647)


This paper presents an economical, randomized, wait-free construction of an n-process test-and-set bit from read write registers. The test-and-set shared object has two atomic operations, test&set, which atomically reads the bit and sets its value to 1, and the reset operation that resets the bit to 0.

We identify two new complexity measures by which to evaluate waitfree algorithms: (a) The amount of randomness used, and (b) ‘Parallel-Time’-the maximum sequential depth of an execution (i.e. longest chain of operations that must precede each other).

The previously best known algorithm for n-process test-and-set [Her91] takes an expected Ω(n2) parallel time, and Ω(n4) sequential time per operation, and Ω(n2log n) space per processor. In contrast, our direct implementation improves this on all counts by using O(log n) coin flips, O(log n) parallel time, O(n) sequential time, per operation, and O(n) space per processor. Thus the question on the difference in the expected complexity of randomized constructions of concurrent objects from read/write registers is raised.


Mutual Exclusion Consensus Problem Round Number Parallel Time Concurrent Object 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yehuda Afek
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Eli Gafni
    • 2
  • John Tromp
    • 3
  • Paul M. B. Vitanyi
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentTel-Aviv UniversityRamat-AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles
  3. 3.Centrum voor Wiskunde en InformaticaSJ AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.AT&T Bell LaboratoriesMurray Hill
  5. 5.Faculteit Wiskunde en InformaticaUniversiteit van AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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