Conference paper

An Analytical Model of Hardware Transactional Memory

This paper investigates the problem of deriving a white box performance model of Hardware Transactional Memory (HTM) systems. The proposed model targets TSX, a popular implementation of HTM integrated in Intel processors starting with the Haswell family in 2013. An inherent difficulty with building white-box models of commercially available HTM systems is that their internals are either vaguely documented or undisclosed by their manufacturers. We tackle this challenge by designing a set of experiments that allow us to shed lights on the internal mechanisms used in TSX to manage conflicts among transactions and to track their readsets and writesets. We exploit the information inferred from this experimental study to build an analytical model of TSX focused on capturing the impact on performance of two key mechanisms: the concurrency control scheme and the management of transactional meta-data in the processor's caches. We validate the proposed model by means of an extensive experimental study encompassing a broad range of workloads executed on a real system.

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