CS4410/4411: Operating Systems

Fall 2013, Profs. Sirer and van Renesse

Miniproject: Synchronization FAQ

General guideline

Q: Are we allowed to take advantage of the optional argument to the acquire method that causes the semaphore to be non-blocking and return true or false if the acquire does not succeed?

A: No, for MP1, please stick with the semaphore interface we discussed in class (init, P, and V). It's clear and simple to reason about.

Monitors in Python

How can I use monitors in Python? There is no object called monitor; only Locks, Semaphores and Condition variables. Should I create a Monitor class?

In Python the behaviors of Monitors are realized by Condition() objects that carry a Lock() inside them. By acquiring and releasing this Lock you enter the monitor and then you can wait, notify and notifyAll on the Condition object(s).

Here is a pseudo example:

class  PrinterRoom():
  def  __init__(self):
          self.printerBusy = False
          self.printerLock = Lock()
          self.printerAvailable = Condition(self.printerLock)

  def  waitforPrinter(self):
          with printerLock:                  #acquire the monitor lock
            while printerBusy:        #check if you need to wait
              printerAvailable.wait()        #wait until somebody notifies you
            printerBusy = True               #set printerBusy to True, to make others wait

  def  donewithPrinter(self):
          with printerLock:                  #acquire the monitor lock
            printerBusy = False              #set printerBusy to False, when you are done
            printerAvailable.notify()     #notify one person waiting for the printer to be available

class  Student():

  def  printdocument(self):
          pr = PrinterRoom()
          while True:
            use printer now
            chat with friends and hang out

For more information on synchronization objects in Python, you can read the Python threading module documentation.

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