Management of concurrency in a reliable object-oriented computing system
Modern computing systems support concurrency as a means of increasing the performance of the system. However, the potential for increased performance is not without its problems. For example, lost updates and inconsistent retrieval are but two of the possible consequences of unconstrained concurrency. Many concurrency control techniques have been designed to combat these problems; this thesis considers the applicability of some of these techniques in the context of a reliable object-oriented system supporting atomic actions. The object-oriented programming paradigm is one approach to handling the inherent complexity of modern computer programs. By modeling entities from the real world as objects which have well-defined interfaces, the interactions in the system can be carefully controlled. By structuring sequences of such interactions as atomic actions, then the consistency of the system is assured. Objects are encapsulated entities such that their internal representation is not externally visible. This thesis postulates that this encapsulation should also include the capability for an object to be responsible for its own concurrency control. Given this latter assumption, this thesis explores the means by which the property of type-inheritance possessed by object-oriented languages can be exploited to allow programmers to explicitly control the level of concurrency an object supports. In particular, a object-oriented concurrency controller based upon the technique of two-phase locking is described and implemented using type-inheritance. The thesis also shows how this inheritance-based approach is highly flexible such that the basic concurrency control capabilities can be adopted unchanged or overridden with more type-specific concurrency control if required.