Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Software Transactional Memory

  • Keir FraserEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_348


Software transactional memory (STM) is a method of concurrency control in which shared-memory accesses are grouped into transactions which either succeed or fail to commit in their entirety. STM provides applications programmers with an alternative to mutual-exclusion locks which avoids many of the latter's pitfalls, including risk of deadlock, unnecessary serialization, and priority inversion. Many STMs are themselves implemented using lock-free programming methods, although this is not a hard-and-fast rule.

Key Points

A software transactional memory (STM) is a software library or programming language feature which provides application programmers with an interface for allocating and accessing shared-memory variables [3]. These variables are accessible in a concurrency-safe manner without resorting to classical concurrency-management techniques such as mutual exclusion. This is achieved by grouping accesses into transactions which execute in isolation and then atomically...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Fraser K, Harris T. Concurrent programming without locks. ACM Trans Comput Syst. 2007;25(2);1–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Saha B, Adl-Tabatabai A, Hudson R, Minh C, Hertzberg B. McRT-STM: a high performance software transactional memory system for a multi-core runtime. In: Proceedings of the 11th ACM SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming; 2006. p. 187–97.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Shavit N, Touitou D. Software transactional memory. In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGACT-SIGOPS 14th Symposium on the Principles of Distributed Computing; 1995. p. 204–13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gottfried Vossen
    • 1
  1. 1.Dep. of Inf. SystemsWestf. Wilhelms-UniveristätMünsterGermany