Java Concurrency in Practice

Brian Goetz / Tim Peierls / Joshua Bloch / Joseph Bowbeer / David Holmes / Doug Lea  
Total pages
May 2006
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Java Concurrency in Practice
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As processors become faster and multiprocessor systems become cheaper, the

need to take advantage of multithreading in order to achieve full hardware

resource utilization only increases the importance of being able to incorporate

concurrency in a wide variety of application categories. For many developers,

concurrency remains a mystery. Developing, testing and debugging

multithreaded programs is extremely difficult because concurrency hazards do

not manifest themselves uniformly or reliably. This book is intended to be

neither an introduction to concurrency (any threading chapter in an 'intro'

book does that) nor is it an encyclopedic reference of All Things Concurrency

(that would be Doug Lea's Concurrent Programming in Java). Instead, this title

is a combination of concepts, guidelines, and examples intended to assist

developers in the difficult process of understanding concurrency and its new

tools in J2SE 5.0. Filled with contributions from Java gurus such as Josh Bloch,

David Holmes and Doug Lea, this book provides any Java programmers with

the basic building blocks they need to gain a basic understanding of

concurrency and its benefits.


A how-to companion to Doug Lea's 'Concurrent Programming in Java', this book is the only authorative and practical guide to Java Concurrency

° Powerhouse author team with contributions from Doug Lea, Josh Bloch and David Holmes

° A practical, hands-on, example-driven guide for every working Java programmer

° Based on J2SE 5.0 which includes many new concurrency features that make concurrency development much more accesible (and necessary)

Table of Contents

Listings     xii
Preface     xvii

Chapter 1: Introduction     1

1.1  A (very) brief history of concurrency       1
1.2  Benefits of threads      3
1.3  Risks of threads       5
1.4  Threads are everywhere       9

Part I: Fundamentals     13

Chapter 2: Thread Safety     15

2.1  What is thread safety?      17
2.2  Atomicity     19
2.3  Locking     23
2.4  Guarding state with locks      27
2.5  Liveness and performance       29

Chapter 3: Sharing Objects     33

3.1  Visibility      33
3.2  Publication and escape       39
3.3  Thread confinement       42
3.4  Immutability       46
3.5  Safepublication       49

Chapter 4: Composing Objects     55

4.1  Designing a thread-safe class      55
4.2  Instance confinement      58
4.3  Delegating thread safety      62
4.4  Adding functionality to existing thread-safe classes       71
4.5  Documenting synchronization policies       74

Chapter 5: Building Blocks     79

5.1  Synchronized collections       79
5.2  Concurrent collections     84
5.3  Blocking queues and the producer-consumer pattern     87
5.4  Blocking and interruptible methods     92
5.5  Synchronizers     94
5.6  Building an efficient, scalable result cache      101

Part II: Structuring Concurrent Applications     111

Chapter 6: Task Execution     113

6.1  Executing tasks in threads      113
6.2  The Executor framework     117
6.3  Finding exploitable parallelism      123

Chapter 7: Cancellation and Shutdown     135

7.1  Task cancellation      135
7.2  Stopping a thread-based service       150
7.3  Handling abnormal thread termination       161
7.4  JVM shutdown      164

Chapter 8: Applying Thread Pools     167

8.1  Implicit couplings between tasks and execution policies     167
8.2  Sizing thread pools      170
8.3  Configuring ThreadPoolExecutor     171
8.4  Extending ThreadPoolExecutor     179
8.5  Parallelizing recursive algorithms     181

Chapter 9: GUI Applications     189

9.1  Why are GUIs single-threaded?      189
9.2  Short-running GUI tasks     192
9.3  Long-running GUI tasks     195
9.4  Shared data models     198
9.5  Other forms of single-threaded subsystems      202

Part III: Liveness, Performance, and Testing     203

Chapter 10: Avoiding Liveness Hazards     205

10.1  Deadlock     205
10.2  Avoiding and diagnosing deadlocks     215
10.3  Other liveness hazards      218

Chapter 11: Performance and Scalability     221

11.1  Thinking about performance      221
11.2  Amdahl's law     225
11.3  Costs introduced by threads     229
11.4  Reducing lock contention      232
11.5  Example: Comparing Map performance     242
11.6  Reducing context switch overhead      243

Chapter 12: Testing Concurrent Programs     247

12.1  Testing for correctness     248
12.2  Testing for performance      260
12.3  Avoiding performance testing pitfalls       266
12.4  Complementary testing approaches     270

Part IV: Advanced Topics     275

Chapter 13: Explicit Locks     277

13.1  Lock and ReentrantLock      277
13.2  Performance considerations      282
13.3  Fairness      283
13.4  Choosing between synchronized and ReentrantLock      285
13.5  Read-write locks     286

Chapter 14: Building Custom Synchronizers     291

14.1  Managing state dependence      291
14.2  Using condition queues      298
14.3  Explicit condition objects     306
14.4  Anatomy of a synchronizer     308
14.5  AbstractQueuedSynchronizer      311
14.6  AQS in java.util.concurrent synchronizer classes      314

Chapter15: Atomic Variables and Nonblocking Synchronization     319

15.1  Disadvantages of locking     319
15.2  Hardware support for concurrency      321
15.3  Atomic variable classes       324
15.4  Nonblocking algorithms      329

Chapter 16: The Java Memory Model     337

16.1  What is a memory model, and why would I want one?       337
16.2  Publication     344
16.3  Initialization safety     349

Appendix A: Annotations for Concurrency     353

A.1  Class annotations     353
A.2  Field andmethod annotations      353

Bibliography     355
Index     359

Back Cover

'I was fortunate indeed to have worked with a fantastic team on the design and implementation of the concurrency features added to the Java platform in Java 5.0 and Java 6. Now this same team provides the best explanation yet of these new features, and of concurrency in general. Concurrency is no longer a subject for advanced users only. Every Java developer should read this book.'
--Martin Buchholz
JDK Concurrency Czar, Sun Microsystems

'For the past 30 years, computer performance has been driven by Moore's Law; from now on, it will be driven by Amdahl's Law. Writing code that effectively exploits multiple processors can be very challenging. Java Concurrency in Practice provides you with the concepts and techniques needed to write safe and scalable Java programs for today's--and tomorrow's--systems.'
--Doron Rajwan
Research Scientist, Intel Corp

'This is the book you need if you're writing--or designing, or debugging, or maintaining, or contemplating--multithreaded Java programs. If you've ever had to synchronize a method and you weren't sure why, you owe it to yourself and your users to read this book, cover to cover.'
--Ted Neward
Author of Effective Enterprise Java

'Brian addresses the fundamental issues and complexities of concurrency with uncommon clarity. This book is a must-read for anyone who uses threads and cares about performance.'
--Kirk Pepperdine

'This book covers a very deep and subtle topic in a very clear and concise way, making it the perfect Java Concurrency reference manual. Each page is filled with the problems (and solutions!) that programmers struggle with every day. Effectively exploiting concurrency is becoming more and more important now that Moore's Law is delivering more cores but not faster cores, and this book will show you how to do it.'
--Dr. Cliff Click
Senior Software Engineer, Azul Systems

'I have a strong interest in concurrency, and have probably written more thread deadlocks and made more synchronization mistakes than most programmers. Brian's book is the most readable on the topic of threading and concurrency in Java, and deals with this difficult subject with a wonderful hands-on approach. This is a book I am recommending to all my readers of The Java Specialists' Newsletter, because it is interesting, useful, and relevant to the problems facing Java developers today.'
--Dr. Heinz Kabutz
The Java Specialists' Newsletter

'I've focused a career on simplifying simple problems, but this book ambitiously and effectively works to simplify a complex but critical subject: concurrency. Java Concurrency in Practice is revolutionary in its approach, smooth and easy in style, and timely in its delivery--it's destined to be a very important book.'
--Bruce Tate
Author of Beyond Java

'Java Concurrency in Practice is an invaluable compilation of threading know-how for Java developers. I found reading this book intellectually exciting, in part because it is an excellent introduction to Java's concurrency API, but mostly because it captures in a thorough and accessible way expert knowledge on threading not easily found elsewhere.'
--Bill Venners
Author of Inside the Java Virtual Machine

Threads are a fundamental part of the Java platform. As multicore processors become the norm, using concurrency effectively becomes essential for building high-performance applications. Java SE 5 and 6 are a huge step forward for the development of concurrent applications, with improvements to the Java Virtual Machine to support high-performance, highly scalable concurrent classes and a rich set of new concurrency building blocks. In Java Concurrency in Practice, the creators of these new facilities explain not only how they work and how to use them, but also the motivation and design patterns behind them


Brian Goetz is a software consultant with twenty years industry experience, with over 75 articles on Java development. He is one of the primary members of the Java Community Process JSR 166 Expert Group (Concurrency Utilities), and has served on numerous other JCP Expert Groups.

Tim Peierls is the very model of a modern multiprocessor, with, recording arts, and goings on theatrical. He is one of the primary members of the Java Community Process JSR 166 Expert Group (Concurrency Utilities), and has served on numerous other JCP Expert Groups.

Joshua Bloch is a principal engineer at Google and a Jolt Award-winner. He was previously a distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems and a senior systems designer at Transarc. Josh led the design and implementation of numerous Java platform features, including JDK 5.0 language enhancements and the award-winning Java Collections Framework. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Joseph Bowbeer is a software architect at Vizrea Corporation where he specializes in mobile application development for the Java ME platform, but his fascination with concurrent programming began in his days at Apollo Computer. He served on the JCP Expert Group for JSR-166 (Concurrency Utilities).

David Holmes is director of DLTeCH Pty Ltd, located in Brisbane, Australia. He specializes in synchronization and concurrency and was a member of the JSR-166 expert group that developed the new concurrency utilities. He is also a contributor to the update of the Real-Time Specification for Java, and has spent the past few years working on an implementation of that specification.

Doug Lea is one of the foremost experts on object-oriented technology and software reuse. He has been doing collaborative research with Sun Labs for more than five years. Lea is Professor of Computer Science at SUNY Oswego, Co-director of the Software Engineering Lab at the New York Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications, and Adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Syracuse University. In addition, he co-authored the book, Object-Oriented System Development (Addison-Wesley, 1993). He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire.