Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bug in Java Memory Model implementation

Just have came around amazing question on stackoverwflow:

Basically the guy there is trying to use "piggybacking" to publish non-volatile variable and it doesn't work. "piggybacking" is a technique that uses data visibility guarantees of volatile variable or monitor to publish non-volatile data. For example such technique is used in ConcurrentHashmap#containsValue() and ConcurrentHashmap#containsKey(). The fact that is doesn't work in that case is a bug in Oracle's Java implementation. And that is rather scary - concurrency problems are very hard to indentify even on bug-free JVM and such bugs in Memory Model implementation making things much worse. Hopefully that's the only bug related to JMM and Oracle has good test coverage for such cases.

The good news is that this particular problem appears just on C1 (client Hotspot compiler) and not in all cases. It doesn't happen on C2 (server compiler, enabled with "-server" switch). Fortunately, the most of people are running java on server side and there are quite a few client application which are using advanced concurrency features.

For ones who want to understand that case better, please, follow the link, I've provided at the beginning of post. Also there is very useful post on "concurrency-interest", which also has a good explanation of what is going on there:

1 comment:

Cd MaN said...

Cool blog and cool post. Subscribed!