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Tuesday, September 17 • 09:00 - 10:00
Will Your Code Survive the Attack of the Zombie Pointers?

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Both the C++ and C standards currently specify that all pointers to an object become invalid (in the case of C, "indeterminate") at the end of that object's lifetime. In other words, your program's nice well-behaved pointers become vicious zombies. This transformation to zombies permits some additional diagnostics and optimizations, some deployed and some hypothetical, but it is not consistent with long-standing usage, especially for a range of concurrent and sequential algorithms that rely on loads, stores, and equality comparisons of such pointers. In fact, a few long-standing concurrent algorithms rely on assembly-language-style reincarnation of a zombie pointer when a new object is allocated at that same address.

This presentation gives an overview of several of these algorithms and discusses a range of possible ways of rehabilitating zombie pointers.

avatar for Michael Wong

Michael Wong

VP Research & Development, Codeplay Software

Paul E. McKenney

Distinguished Engineer, IBM Linux Technology Center
Paul E. McKenney has been coding for almost four decades, more than half of that on parallel hardware, where his work has earned him a reputation among some as a flaming heretic. Over the past decade, Paul has been an IBM Distinguished Engineer at the IBM Linux Technology Center... Read More →
avatar for Maged Michael

Maged Michael

Engineer, Facebook
Maged Michael is a software engineer at Facebook. He is the inventor of hazard pointers, lock-free malloc and several algorithms for concurrent data structures. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Rochester. He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist. He is an... Read More →

Tuesday September 17, 2019 09:00 - 10:00
Summit 4/5

Attendees (134)