What is the advantages and disadvantages of Thread ?

advantages and disadvantages of Thread

Advantages and Disadvantages of Thread:-

The advantages and disadvantages of thread are given below:-

Benefits

The benefits of multithreaded programming can be broken down into four major categories:

Responsiveness:

Multithreading an interactive application may allow a program to continue running even if part of it is blocked or is performing a lengthy operation, thereby increasing responsiveness to the user. For instance, a multithreaded web browser could still allow user interaction

in one thread while an image is being loaded in another thread.

Resource sharing:

By default, threads share the memory and the resources of the process to which they belong. The benefit of code sharing is that it allows an application to have several different threads of activity all within the same address space.

Economy:   

Allocating memory and resources for process creation is costly. Alternatively, because threads share resources of the process to which they belong, it is more economical to create and context switch threads. It can be difficult to gauge empirically the difference in overhead for creating and maintaining a process rather than a thread, but in general, it is much more time consuming to create and manage processes than threads. In Solaris 2, creating a process is about 30 times slower than is creating a thread, and context switching is about five times slower.

Utilization of multiprocessor architectures:

The benefits of multithreading can be greatly increased in a multiprocessor architecture, where each thread may be running in parallel on a different processor. A single-threaded process can only run on one CPU, no matter how many are available.

Multithreading on a multi-CPU machine increases concurrency. In a single processor architecture, the CPU generally moves between each thread so quickly as to create an illusion of parallelism, but in reality, only one thread is running at a time.

 The OS supports the threads that can be provided in following two levels:

User-Level Threads

User-level threads implement in user-level libraries, rather than via systems calls, so thread switching does not need to call operating system and to cause an interrupt to the kernel. In fact, the kernel knows nothing about user-level threads and manages them as if they were single-threaded processes.

Advantages:

  • User-level threads do not require modification to operating systems.
  • Simple Representation: Each thread is represented simply by a PC, registers, stack and a small control block, all stored in the user process address space.
  • Simple Management: This simply means that creating a thread, switching between threads and synchronization between threads can all be done without the intervention of the kernel.
  • Fast and Efficient: Thread switching is not much more expensive than a procedure call.

Disadvantages:

  • There is a lack of coordination between threads and operating system kernel.
  • User-level threads require non-blocking systems call i.e., a multithreaded kernel.

Kernel-Level Threads

In this method, the kernel knows about and manages the threads. Instead of thread table in each process, the kernel has a thread table that keeps track of all threads in the system. Operating Systems kernel provides a system call to create and manage threads.

Advantages:

  • Because kernel has full knowledge of all threads, Scheduler may decide to give more time to a process having a large number of threads that process having small number of threads.
  • Kernel-level threads are especially good for applications that frequently block.

Disadvantages:

  • The kernel-level threads are slow and inefficient. For instance, threads operations are hundreds of times slower than that of user-level threads.

Since kernel must manage and schedule threads as well as processes. It requires a full thread control block (TCB) for each thread to maintain information about threads. As a result, there is significant overhead and increased in kernel complexity.

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