Major chip manufacturers have shifted their focus from trying to speed up individual processors into putting several processors on the same chip. They are now talking about potentially doubling efficiency on a 2x core, quadrupling on a 4x core and so forth. Yet multicore is useless without concurrent programming. The constructors are now calling for a new software revolution: the concurrency revolution. This might look at first glance surprising for concurrency is almost as old as computing and tons of concurrent programming models and languages were invented. In fact, what the revolution is about is way more than concurrency alone: it is about concurrency for the masses. The current parallel programming approach of employing locks is widely considered to be too difficult for any but a few experts. Therefore, a new paradigm of concurrent programming is needed to take advantage of the new regime of multicore computers. Transactional Memory (TM) is a new programming paradigm which is considered by most researchers as the future of parallel programming. Not surprisingly, a lot of work is being devoted to the implementation of TM systems, in hardware or solely in software. What might be surprising is the little effort devoted so far to devising a sound theoretical framework to reason about the TM abstraction. To understand properly TM systems, as well as be able to assess them and improve them, a rigorous theoretical study of the approach, its challenges and its benefits is badly needed. This is the challenging research goal undertaken by this MC-ITN. Our goal through this project is to gather leading researchers in the field of concurrent computing over Europe, and combine our efforts in order to define what might become the modern theory of concurrent computing. We aim at training a set of graduate students in this direction and hope that, in turn, these students will help Europe become a leader in concurrent computing.
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