k-Abortable Objects: Progress Under High Contention

  • Naama Ben-David
  • David Yu Cheng ChanEmail author
  • Vassos Hadzilacos
  • Sam Toueg
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9888)


In this paper, we define k-abortable objects, the first kind of abortable objects [2, 7] that guarantee some degree of progress even under high contention. The definition is simple and natural: intuitively, an operation on a k-abortable object can abort only if k operations from distinct processes succeed during the execution of the aborted operation. We first show that k-abortable objects can easily implement k -lock-free objects, i.e., objects where at least k processes make progress [5], but in contrast to k-lock-free objects, k-abortable objects always return control. We then give an efficient universal construction for wait-free k-abortable objects shared by n processes that takes only O(k) steps per operation. We also give a \(\varOmega (\log k)\)-steps lower bound for universal constructions of k-abortable objects shared by \(n \ge k\) processes. Since every wait-free k-abortable object can implement its k-lock-free counterpart, our universal construction also provides a universal construction for k-lock-free objects.


Shared memory Lock-freedom Wait-freedom Distributed algorithms Abortable objects Liveness conditions Asynchronous system 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naama Ben-David
    • 1
  • David Yu Cheng Chan
    • 2
    Email author
  • Vassos Hadzilacos
    • 2
  • Sam Toueg
    • 2
  1. 1.Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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