Published by MIT Press. Copyright 2000 Massachusetts Institute of
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Supporting Increment and Decrement Operations
in Balancing Networks
William Aiello (ATT Laboratories), Costas Busch (Brown University), Maurice Herlihy (Brown University),
Marios Mavronicolas (University of Cyprus), Nir Shavit (Tel-Aviv University and MIT),
and Dan Touitou (IDC Herzliya, Israel).
7 December 1998
Counting networks are a class of distributed data structures
that support highly concurrent implementations of shared
Fetch&Increment counters. Applications of these counters include
shared pools and stacks, load balancing, and software barriers. A
limitation of counting networks is that the resulting shared counters
can be incremented, but not decremented.
A recent result by Shavit and Touitou showed that the subclass of
tree-shaped counting networks can support both increment and decrement
operations. In this paper we generalize their result, showing that
any counting network can be extended to support atomic
decrements in a simple and natural way. Moreover, we identify a broad
class of network boundedness properties, that, like the counting
property, are preserved by the introduction of decrements: if a
balancing network satisfies a particular boundedness property for
increments alone, then it continues to satisfy that property for both
increments and decrements.