Semantics, Specification, and Bounded Verification of Concurrent Libraries in Replicated Systems
Geo-replicated systems provide a number of desirable properties such as globally low latency, high availability, scalability, and built-in fault tolerance. Unfortunately, programming correct applications on top of such systems has proven to be very challenging, in large part because of the weak consistency guarantees they offer. These complexities are exacerbated when we try to adapt existing highly-performant concurrent libraries developed for shared-memory environments to this setting. The
... of these libraries, developed with performance and scalability in mind, is highly desirable. But, identifying a suitable notion of correctness to check their validity under a weakly consistent execution model has not been well-studied, in large part because it is problematic to naively transplant criteria such as linearizability that has a useful interpretation in a shared-memory context to a distributed one where the cost of imposing a (logical) global ordering on all actions is prohibitive. In this paper, we tackle these issues by proposing appropriate semantics and specifications for highly-concurrent libraries in a weakly-consistent, replicated setting. We use these specifications to develop a static analysis framework that can automatically detect correctness violations of library implementations parameterized with respect to the different consistency policies provided by the underlying system. We use our framework to analyze the behavior of a number of highly non-trivial library implementations of stacks, queues, and exchangers. Our results provide the first demonstration that automated correctness checking of concurrent libraries in a weakly geo-replicated setting is both feasible and practical.