Having this write-up, to say nothing of an online copy of Massalin's dissertation, would have
saved me much time back when I was doing my own dissertation. ;-) Good to see both now
One of the key strengths of Massalin's work is the focus on determining what techniques work
well in given situations, and then matching up techniques with the corresponding situations.
"Use the right tool for the job!"
Although lock-free techniques can be quite valuable for situations requiring real-time
response, as can other non-blocking-synchronization (NBS) techniques, these techniques are not
a panacea. NBS algorithms rely heavily on hardware arbitration, which is usually unaware of
process priorities. This can result in priority-inversion-like effects when the hardware
gives the contended cache line to the low-priority process.