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View of /cml/trunk/doc/ML-Doc/barrier.mldoc

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Revision 3573 - (download) (annotate)
Fri Feb 18 18:40:37 2011 UTC (8 years, 5 months ago) by jhr
File size: 4102 byte(s)
  Adding barriers to CML (including MLDOC file)
<!-- ../doc/mldoc/barrier.mldoc -->

<!DOCTYPE ML-DOC SYSTEM>

<COPYRIGHT OWNER="John H. Reppy" YEAR=2011>
<VERSION VERID="1.0" YEAR=2011 MONTH=2 DAY=18>

<TITLE>The Barrier structure</TITLE>

<INTERFACE>
<HEAD>The <CD/Barrier/ structure</HEAD>
<SEEALSO>
  <STRREF TOPID/CML/
</SEEALSO>

<PP>
The <STRREF TOPID NOLINK/Barrier/ structure provides support for barrier synchronization
with global state.
Note that unlike most other synchronization mechnisms in CML, barriers do not have
event-value operations.
</PP>
<STRUCTURE STRID="Barrier">
  <SIGBODY SIGID="BARRIER" FILE=BARRIER-SIG>
    <SPEC>
      <TYPE><TYPARAM>'a</TYPARAM><ID>barrier</ID></TYPE>
      <COMMENT>
	<PP>
	  This is the type constructor for a barrier.
	</PP>
      </COMMENT>
    </SPEC>
    <SPEC>
      <TYPE><TYPARAM>'a</TYPARAM><ID>enrollment</ID></TYPE>
      <COMMENT>
	<PP>
	  This type constructor represents an <EM>enrollment</EM> on a barrier.
	  Enrollments are used to synchronize on barriers.
	</PP>
      </COMMENT>
    </SPEC>
    <SPEC>
      <VAL>barrier<TY>('a -> 'a) -> 'a -> 'a barrier</TY></VAL>
      <COMMENT>
	<PROTOTY>
	barrier update init
	</PROTOTY>
	creates a new barrier with the update function <ARG>update</ARG>
	and the initial state <ARG>init</ARG>.
	The state is updated each time the barrier is synchronized on by the enrolled
	threads.
      </COMMENT>
    </SPEC>

    <SPEC>
      <VAL>enroll<TY>'a barrier -> 'a enrollment</TY></VAL>
      <COMMENT>
	<PROTOTY>
	enroll bar
	</PROTOTY>
	enrolls on the barrier, returning a new <TYREF>enrollment</TYREF>.
	The (unenforced) convention is that each enrolled thread belongs to a thread
	and that a thread owns at most one enrollment on a given barrier.
      </COMMENT>
    </SPEC>

    <SPEC>
      <VAL>wait<TY>'a enrollment -> 'a</TY></VAL>
	<RAISES><EXNREF>Fail</EXNREF>
      <COMMENT>
	<PROTOTY>
	wait ebar
	</PROTOTY>
	waits on the barrier until all of the enrolled threads are waiting, at which point
	the state is updated and the resulting state value is returned to the waiting
	threads.
	If another thread is already waiting on this enrollment or if the enrollment
	has been resigned, then the exception <EXNREF>Fail</EXNREF> is raised.
	<PP>
	Note that if the update function for the barrier raises an exception, then this
	exception is raised for each waiting thread by <VALREF>wait</VALREF>.
	</PP>
      </COMMENT>
    </SPEC>

    <SPEC>
      <VAL>resign<TY>'a enrollment -> unit</TY></VAL>
	<RAISES><EXNREF>Fail</EXNREF>
      <COMMENT>
	<PROTOTY>
	resign ebar
	</PROTOTY>
	resigns from the enrollment <ARG>ebar</ARG>.
	Resigning from an already resigned enrollment is ignored, but
	if another thread is waiting on this enrollment, then the
	exception <EXNREF>Fail</EXNREF> is raised.
      </COMMENT>
    </SPEC>

    <SPEC>
      <VAL>value<TY>'a enrollment -> 'a</TY></VAL>
	<RAISES><EXNREF>Fail</EXNREF>
      <COMMENT>
	<PROTOTY>
	value ebar
	</PROTOTY>
	gets the current value of the barrier's state.
	<PP>
	Note that if the convention of one-thread per enrollment is followed, then this
	operation is free of races, since the state is stable between barrier
	synchronizations.
	</PP>
      </COMMENT>
    </SPEC>
  </SIGBODY>
</STRUCTURE>
<PP>
Barriers can be used to implement clock and phased synchronization.
For example, consider the following code:
<CODE>
let
val clock = <VALREF>Barrier.barrier</VALREF> (fn x => x+1) 0
fun spawnChild () = let
      val bar = <VALREF>Barrier.enroll</VALREF> clock
      fun loop () = if (<VALREF>Barrier.wait</VALREF> bar = 5) then () else loop()
      in
	<VALREF>CML.spawn</VALREF> loop
      end
in
  <VALREF>Barrier.enroll</VALREF> clock;
  spawnChild ();
  spawnChild ();
  <VALREF>Barrier.resign</VALREF> clock
end
</CODE>
In this example, two threads are spawned, which then synchronize on the barrier
five times.
To avoid a race condition between enrollment and the first synchronization, the parent
thread enrolls on the barrier prior to spawning its children and then resigns after
the children have been enrolled by the <CD>spawnChild</CD> function.
</PP>

</INTERFACE>

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