AtomicReferenceArray Class


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A java.util.concurrent.atomic.AtomicReferenceArray class provides operations on underlying reference array that can be read and written atomically, and also contains advanced atomic operations. AtomicReferenceArray supports atomic operations on underlying reference array variable. It have get and set methods that work like reads and writes on volatile variables. That is, a set has a happens-before relationship with any subsequent get on the same variable. The atomic compareAndSet method also has these memory consistency features.

AtomicReferenceArray Methods

Following is the list of important methods available in the AtomicReferenceArray class.

Sr.No. Method & Description
1

public boolean compareAndSet(int i, E expect, E update)

Atomically sets the element at position i to the given updated value if the current value == the expected value.

2

public E get(int i)

Gets the current value at position i.

3

public E getAndSet(int i, E newValue)

Atomically sets the element at position i to the given value and returns the old value.

4

public void lazySet(int i, E newValue)

Eventually sets the element at position i to the given value.

5

public int length()

Returns the length of the array.

6

public void set(int i, E newValue)

Sets the element at position i to the given value.

7

public String toString()

Returns the String representation of the current values of array.

8

public boolean weakCompareAndSet(int i, E expect, E update)

Atomically sets the element at position i to the given updated value if the current value == the expected value.

Example

The following TestThread program shows usage of AtomicReferenceArray variable in thread based environment.

Live Demo
import java.util.concurrent.atomic.AtomicReferenceArray;

public class TestThread {
   private static String[] source = new String[10];
   private static AtomicReferenceArray<String> atomicReferenceArray 
      = new AtomicReferenceArray<String>(source);

   public static void main(final String[] arguments) throws InterruptedException {

      for (int i = 0; i<atomicReferenceArray.length(); i++) {
         atomicReferenceArray.set(i, "item-2");
      }

      Thread t1 = new Thread(new Increment());
      Thread t2 = new Thread(new Compare());
      t1.start();
      t2.start();

      t1.join();
      t2.join();		
   }  

   static class Increment implements Runnable {
      
      public void run() {
         
         for(int i = 0; i<atomicReferenceArray.length(); i++) {
            String add = atomicReferenceArray.getAndSet(i,"item-"+ (i+1));
            System.out.println("Thread " + Thread.currentThread().getId() 
               + ", index " +i + ", value: "+ add);
         }
      }
   }

   static class Compare implements Runnable {
      
      public void run() {
         
         for(int i = 0; i<atomicReferenceArray.length(); i++) {
            System.out.println("Thread " + Thread.currentThread().getId() 
               + ", index " +i + ", value: "+ atomicReferenceArray.get(i));
            boolean swapped = atomicReferenceArray.compareAndSet(i, "item-2", "updated-item-2");
            System.out.println("Item swapped: " + swapped);
            
            if(swapped) {
               System.out.println("Thread " + Thread.currentThread().getId() 
                  + ", index " +i + ", updated-item-2");
            }
         }
      }
   }
}

This will produce the following result.

Output

Thread 9, index 0, value: item-2
Thread 10, index 0, value: item-1
Item swapped: false
Thread 10, index 1, value: item-2
Item swapped: true
Thread 9, index 1, value: updated-item-2
Thread 10, index 1, updated-item-2
Thread 10, index 2, value: item-3
Item swapped: false
Thread 10, index 3, value: item-2
Item swapped: true
Thread 10, index 3, updated-item-2
Thread 10, index 4, value: item-2
Item swapped: true
Thread 10, index 4, updated-item-2
Thread 10, index 5, value: item-2
Item swapped: true
Thread 10, index 5, updated-item-2
Thread 10, index 6, value: item-2
Thread 9, index 2, value: item-2
Item swapped: true
Thread 9, index 3, value: updated-item-2
Thread 10, index 6, updated-item-2
Thread 10, index 7, value: item-2
Thread 9, index 4, value: updated-item-2
Item swapped: true
Thread 9, index 5, value: updated-item-2
Thread 10, index 7, updated-item-2
Thread 9, index 6, value: updated-item-2
Thread 10, index 8, value: item-2
Thread 9, index 7, value: updated-item-2
Item swapped: true
Thread 9, index 8, value: updated-item-2
Thread 10, index 8, updated-item-2
Thread 9, index 9, value: item-2
Thread 10, index 9, value: item-10
Item swapped: false


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