Critical Section Problem

The critical section is a code segment where the shared variables can be accessed. An atomic action is required in a critical section i.e. only one process can execute in its critical section at a time. All the other processes have to wait to execute in their critical sections.

A diagram that demonstrates the critical section is as follows −

 Critical Section.png

In the above diagram, the entry section handles the entry into the critical section. It acquires the resources needed for execution by the process. The exit section handles the exit from the critical section. It releases the resources and also informs the other processes that the critical section is free.

Solution to the Critical Section Problem

The critical section problem needs a solution to synchronize the different processes. The solution to the critical section problem must satisfy the following conditions −

  • Mutual Exclusion

    Mutual exclusion implies that only one process can be inside the critical section at any time. If any other processes require the critical section, they must wait until it is free.

  • Progress

    Progress means that if a process is not using the critical section, then it should not stop any other process from accessing it. In other words, any process can enter a critical section if it is free.

  • Bounded Waiting

    Bounded waiting means that each process must have a limited waiting time. Itt should not wait endlessly to access the critical section.