Pivot Thread Safety

Pivot Thread Safety

OCL is declarative and side effect free and so particularly suitable for execution on multiple threads, provided all shared context is maintained in ways that avoid inter-thread conflicts.

The classic Ecore-based OCL evaluation makes no attempt to guarantee thread safety and some of the more recent functionality involving EMF delegate caches is very suspect for multiple thread usage. So if you want thread safety use the Pivot-based evaluation.

The thread safety of interpreted Pivot evaluation is similarly suspect, however the much faster code generated evaluation is designed for thread safety.

Code Generated Evaluation

The code-generated evaluator is intended to be thread-safe; all shared objects update their caches within relatively fine-grained synchronized regions. However there are a number of class static variables that are not synchronized and might therefore experience at best a redundant multiple initialization and at worst an assumed uniqueness violation. Thread safe code must therefore invoke:


to ensure eager initialization of unsynchronized class variables. This routine is itself synchronized and so may be safely invoked on all threads, if it is not practical to invoke it solely from just a startup thread.

It is not permissible to modify any part of any OCL object, array or collection.

Application code should not assume that the getter for a protected final field is invoked internally and so should not attempt to modify behavior by overriding it.

Design Notes

Loose miscellaneous static fields are initialized by ValuesUtil.initAllStatics().

Most non-static fields are @NonNull and final eliminating thread hazards. However lazy caches cannot be avoided and these require manual review. Caches shared across OCl invocations use Weak references to avoid leakage.

ElementIds are unique and shared across OCL evaluations and so IdManager maintains a hierarchy of synchronized caches for distinct forms of ElementId. Some ElementIds such as TemplateParameterId are subject to two-phase construction (constructor followed by install). It is assumed that a half-constructed ElementId will not be made visible to other threads.

Values are optionally shared and so valuesUtil has a few loose statics for simple values such as FALSE, and a synchronized cache for integers in the range -256 to 1024.

EvaluatorIterationManagers do not currently permit forking of iterations to multiple threads and may malfunction if application code does so.

Interpreted Evaluation

This is not considered thread-safe. Superficial consideration suggests that the EMF delegate dispatching in particular needs careful attention.

OCL Analysis

The Xtext-based functionality is only thread-safe in so far as Xtext imposes strict main/worker thread disciplines. It is very unlikely that activating additional worker threads will give satisfactory results.