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Core Java Interview Question, Interview Question

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Core Java Interview Question Page 10

     

Question: What is the difference between notify and notify All methods ? 

Answer: A call to notify causes at most one thread waiting on the same object to be notified (i.e., the object that calls notify must be the same as the object that called wait). A call to notifyAll causes all threads waiting on the same object to be notified. If more than one thread is waiting on that object, there is no way to control which of them is notified by a call to notify (so it is often better to use notifyAll than notify).

Question: What is synchronized keyword? In what situations you will Use it? 

Answer: Synchronization is the act of serializing access to critical sections of code. We will use this keyword when we expect multiple threads to access/modify the same data. To understand synchronization we need to look into thread execution manner.

Threads may execute in a manner where their paths of execution are completely independent of each other. Neither thread depends upon the other for assistance. For example, one thread might execute a print job, while a second thread repaints a window. And then there are threads that require synchronization, the act of serializing access to critical sections of code, at various moments during their executions. For example, say that two threads need to send data packets over a single network connection. Each thread must be able to send its entire data packet before the other thread starts sending its data packet; otherwise, the data is scrambled. This scenario requires each thread to synchronize its access to the code that does the actual data-packet sending.

If you feel a method is very critical for business that needs to be executed by only one thread at a time (to prevent data loss or corruption), then we need to use synchronized keyword.

EXAMPLE

Some real-world tasks are better modeled by a program that uses threads than by a normal, sequential program. For example, consider a bank whose accounts can be accessed and updated by any of a number of automatic teller machines (ATMs). Each ATM could be a separate thread, responding to deposit and withdrawal requests from different users simultaneously. Of course, it would be important to make sure that two users did not access the same account simultaneously. This is done in Java using synchronization, which can be applied to individual methods, or to sequences of statements.

One or more methods of a class can be declared to be synchronized. When a thread calls an object's synchronized method, the whole object is locked. This means that if another thread tries to call any synchronized method of the same object, the call will block until the lock is released (which happens when the original call finishes). In general, if the value of a field of an object can be changed, then all methods that read or write that field should be synchronized to prevent two threads from trying to write the field at the same time, and to prevent one thread from reading the field while another thread is in the process of writing it.

Here is an example of a BankAccount class that uses synchronized methods to ensure that deposits and withdrawals cannot be performed simultaneously, and to ensure that the account balance cannot be read while either a deposit or a withdrawal is in progress. (To keep the example simple, no check is done to ensure that a withdrawal does not lead to a negative balance.)

public class BankAccount { private double balance; // constructor: set balance to given amount public BankAccount( double initialDeposit ) { balance = initialDeposit; } public synchronized double Balance( ) { return balance; } public synchronized void Deposit( double deposit ) { balance += deposit; } public synchronized void Withdraw( double withdrawal ) { balance -= withdrawal; } }

Note: that the BankAccount's constructor is not declared to be synchronized. That is because it can only be executed when the object is being created, and no other method can be called until that creation is finished.

There are cases where we need to synchronize a group of statements, we can do that using synchrozed statement.

Java Code Example synchronized ( B ) { if ( D > B.Balance() ) { ReportInsuffucientFunds(); } else { B.Withdraw( D ); } }
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Posted on: April 18, 2011

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