SigRace: Signature-based data race detection

Abdullah Muzahid, Darío Suárez, Shanxiang Qi, Josep Torrellas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Detecting data races in parallel programs is important for both software development and production-run diagnosis. Recently, there have been several proposals for hardware-assisted data race detection. Such proposals typically modify the L1 cache and cache coherence protocol messages, and largely lose their capability when lines get displaced or invalidated from the cache. To avoid these shortcomings, this paper proposes a novel approach to hardware-assisted data race detection. The approach, called SigRace, relies on hardware address signatures. As a processor runs, the addresses of the data that it accesses are automatically encoded in signatures. At certain times, the signatures are automatically passed to a hardware module that intersects them with those of other processors. If the intersection is not null, a data race may have occurred. This paper presents the architecture of SigRace, an implementation, and its software interface. With SigRace, caches and coherence protocol messages are unmodified. Moreover, cache lines can be displaced and invalidated with no effect. Our experiments show that SigRace is significantly more effective than a state-of-the-art conventional hardware-assisted race detector. SigRace finds on average 29% more static races and 107% more dynamic races. Moreover, if we inject data races, SigRace finds 150% more static races than the conventional scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISCA 2009 - 36th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, Conference Proceedings
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2009
EventISCA 2009 - 36th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 20 2009Jun 24 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Computer Architecture
ISSN (Print)1063-6897


OtherISCA 2009 - 36th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX


  • Concurrency defect
  • Data race
  • Happened-before
  • SigRace
  • Signature
  • Timestamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture


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