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1.3 Unstructured Locks

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In this module, we will learn about threads and locks, which have served as primitive building blocks for concurrent programming for over five decades. All computing platforms today include some form of support for threads and locks, and make them available for use by developers in a wide range of programming languages. We will learn how threads can be created, joined, and synchronized using structured (e.g., synchronized statements/methods) and unstructured (e.g., java.util.concurrent libraries) locks in Java. We will also learn about new classes of bugs that can arise when concurrent programs need to access shared resources. These bugs are referred to as violations of liveness/progress guarantees, and include deadlock, livelock, and starvation. We will conclude this module by studying different solutions to the classical "Dining Philosophers" problem, and use these solutions to illustrate instances of deadlock, livelock and starvation.

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