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lin-check is a tool for Java that checks linearizability on concurrent data structures.

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Lin-check is a testing framework to check that concurrent data structure is linearizable. The approach is based on linearization definition and tries to find non-linearizable execution with specified operations due to a lot of executions. The execution is represented as a list of actors for every test thread, where the actor is the operation with already counted parameters.

Usage example

The following example tests that ConcurrentHashMap is linearizable.

// This test uses 3 parallel threads and executes 1-3 operations in each
@CTest(iterations = 300, actorsPerThread = {"1:3", "1:3", "1:3"})
// Create common parameter generators with "key" and "value" names.
// These generators are applied by parameter name
@Param(name = "key", gen = IntGen.class) // conf = "-10:10" by default
@Param(name = "value", gen = IntGen.class, conf = "1:5")
public class ConcurrentHashMapLinearizabilityTest {
    private Map<Integer, Integer> map;

    // This method is invoked before every test invocation
    public void reset() {
        map = new ConcurrentHashMap<>();

    public Integer put(Integer key, Integer value) {
        return map.put(key, value);

    public Integer get(@Param(name = "key") Integer k) {
        return map.get(k);

    public int putIfAbsent(int key, int value) {
        return map.putIfAbsent(key, value);

    // Use JUnit to run test
    public void test() {

The artifacts are available in Bintray. For Maven, use com.devexperts.lincheck:core:<version> artifact for your tests.


The base entity in lin-check is operation. It is defined via public method (should be annotated with @Operation annotation) and generators for every method parameter. Further operations are used to create actors and execute them concurrently.

Operation parameters

Some restrictions can be applied for operation and should be specified via @Operation parameters:

  • runOnce - set this parameter to true if you want this operation to be called at most once during the test invocation. Default value: false.
  • group - defines the group which should include this operation. Operation groups could have some restrictions (such as non-parallel execution of its operations) due to support popular concurrent patterns.

Operation groups

In order to support single producer/consumer pattern and similar ones, each operation could be included in an operation group. Then the operation group could have some restrictions, such as non-parallel execution. For more details see OpGroupConfig class.

Parameter generators

To generate parameters for operation the ParameterGenerator implementation is used. Each parameter should have the generator.


Lin-check has generators for all primitive types and String. Note that if an operation has primitive or String parameter then this parameter value is contained in generated byte-code. Thus, boxing/unboxing does not happen.

Parameter name

Java 8 introduces the feature (JEP 188) to store parameter names to class files. If test class is compiled with storing parameter names to class files then they can be used as the name of the generator.

For example, the following code

    public Integer get(Integer key) {
        return map.get(key);

is similar to the next one.

    public Integer get(@Param(name = "key") Integer key) {
        return map.get(key);

Unfortunately, this feature is disabled in javac compiler by default. Use -parameters option to enable it. For example, in Maven you can use the following plugin configuration:


However, some IDEs (such as IntelliJ IDEA) do not understand build system configuration as well as possible and running test from these IDEs is not worked. To solve this issue you should add -parameters option for javac compiler in your IDE configuration.

Exception as result

If an operation can throw an exception and this is a normal result (e.g. method remove in Queue implementation throws NoSuchElementException if the queue is empty) you can handle this exception via @HandleExceptionAsResult annotation on the operation method.

The following example processes NoSuchElementException as a normal result:

public int remove() {
    return queue.remove();

CTest configuration

Lin-check uses @StressCTest annotation for test class to configure testing parameters. The @CTest annotation has the following parameters:

  • actorsPerThread - the range of actors for each thread (presented as array), should be in the following format: <min_actors>:<max_actors>;
  • iterations - number of iterations to be processed;
  • invocationsPerIteration - number of invocations in each iteration. Default value is 10_000.

Note that one test class can have several @CTest annotations and each configuration is used for testing.


For every execution lin-check produces about all actors for every thread. If the test is done successfully, no additional information is produced. However, if any invocation is not linearizable lin-check produces information about this execution results and all possible linearizable results.

Here is an example of non-linearizable queue testing:

= Iteration 1 / 100 =
Actors per thread:
[takeOrNull()[w], add(-4)[w]]
= Iteration 2 / 100 =
Actors per thread:
[takeOrNull()[w], takeOrNull()[w]]
= Iteration 3 / 100 =
Actors per thread:
[takeOrNull()[w], add(-7)[w]]
[add(3)[w], takeOrNull()[w]]

Non-linearizable execution:
[null, void]
[void, null]

Possible linearizable executions:
[null, void]
[void, 3]

[3, void]
[void, null]

[3, void]
[void, -7]

[null, void]
[void, -7]


If you need help, you have a question, or you need further details on how to use lin-check, you can refer to the following resources:

You can use the following e-mail to contact us directly:


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