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Transactional Memory Introspection

Goals

Transactional memory (TM) is a declarative concurrency control technique that has recently emerged as a promising candidate to ease multi-threaded programming. A key feature of TM is its ability to make updates to memory transactional. We are investigating techniques to introspect on the state maintained by TM systems for concurrency control to also improve software security and reliability.

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Description

In preliminary work, we have designed and implemented a new reference monitor architecture using software transactional memory. Such a reference monitor decouples security enforcement mechanisms from application functionality and provides a number of benefits, including better guarantees on complete mediation of security-sensitive operations, freedom from time-to-check to time-of-use vulnerabilities and easy handling of security exceptions.

We are currently working on several directions, including foundational issues on the semantics of transactional memory introspection, performing introspection using hardware transactional memory, as well as other applications of transactional memory introspection, such as information flow tracking and intrusion forensics.

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Publications

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People
Faculty

Vinod Ganapathy
Liviu Iftode

Graduate Students

Mohan Dhawan
Shakeel Butt

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Last modified: Feb 2009.