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Systems of this kind are characterised by the existence of two special synchronisation operations, release and acquire. Before issuing a write to a memory object a node must acquire the object via a special operation, and later release it. Therefore the application that runs within the operation acquire and release constitutes the critical region. If all write operations by a certain node are seen by the other nodes after the former releases the object and before the latter acquire it, the system is said to provide release consistency.
There are two kinds of coherence protocols that implement release consistency:
- eager, where all coherence actions are performed on release operations, and
- lazy, where all coherence actions are delayed until after a subsequent acquire 
TreadMarks is an application of lazy release consistency.
- Memory Consistency and Event Ordering in Scalable Shared-Memory Multiprocessors by Kourosh Gharachorloo, Daniel Lenoski, James Laudon, Phillip Gibbons, Anoop Gupta, and John Hennessy published in ISCA '90 Proceedings of the 17th annual international symposium on Computer Architecture
- Lazy release consistency for software distributed shared memory by Pete Keleher, Alan L. Cox, and Willy Zwaenepoel published in Proceeding ISCA '92 Proceedings of the 19th annual international symposium on Computer architecture
- TreadMarks: distributed shared memory on standard workstations and operating systems by Pete Keleher, Alan L. Cox, Sandhya Dwarkadas and Willy Zwaenepoel pusblished in WTEC'94 Proceedings of the USENIX Winter 1994 Technical Conference on USENIX Winter 1994 Technical Conference