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EEEN30141 Concurrent Systems - Assignment: Synchronisation

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EEEN30141 Concurrent Systems CourseNana.COM


1. Introduction CourseNana.COM

In this part of the assignment, the focus is on synchronisation specifically designing and implementing synchronisation objects for the start of the race and for the baton exchange. The termination of the race is considered in the third and final part of the assignment. The synchronisation mechanisms will use C++ mutexes, locks and condition_variables. CourseNana.COM

The objective of this part is to properly model the blocking, starting nd termination of each thread in a simulated race. CourseNana.COM

2. Track Layout CourseNana.COM

Each team is allocated a lane on the track, and each athlete in a team runs a specific part (‘leg’) of the race. One athlete runs the first leg and hands the baton to the athlete who runs the second leg etc. Recall that theThreads is declared as: CourseNana.COM

thread theThreads[NO_TEAMS][NO_MEMBERS]; CourseNana.COM

The first index identifies the lane, and the second identifies the leg of the race that the athlete runs. CourseNana.COM

At the start of a relay race, all athletes must take up their correct positions and wait, either for the start of the race, or for their preceding team member to arrive at the exchange zone. In terms of the elements of the theThreads array: CourseNana.COM

  • theThreads[0][j], j {0, 3} must be at the start CourseNana.COM

  • theThreads[1][j], j {0, 3} must be at exchange zone 0 CourseNana.COM

  • theThreads[2][j], j {0, 3} must be at exchange zone 1 CourseNana.COM

  • theThreads[3][j], j {0, 3} must be at exchange zone 2 CourseNana.COM

Start Finish CourseNana.COM

exchanges[0][0] exchanges[1][0] exchanges[2][0] exchanges[3][0] CourseNana.COM

Exchange zone 1 CourseNana.COM

theThread[0][1] theThread[1][1] theThread[2][1] theThread[3][1] CourseNana.COM

Examples: CourseNana.COM

theThread[0][3] theThread[1][3] theThread[2][3] theThread[3][3] CourseNana.COM

Exchange zone 3 CourseNana.COM

exchanges[0][2] exchanges[1][2] exchanges[2][2] exchanges[3][2] CourseNana.COM

theThread[3][0] theThread[2][0] CourseNana.COM

Figure 1 Track, start, finish, exchange zones CourseNana.COM

and unblocks CourseNana.COM

thread[2][1] which is blocked in CourseNana.COM

theThread CourseNana.COM

[0][1] is blocked at sync object CourseNana.COM

theThread CourseNana.COM

3. The Start of the Race CourseNana.COM

There are two stages to the start of a relay race. First, athletes must take their positions. These are either the start, for the first team members or what is called an exchange zone.  (see Figure 1). The second athlete in each team starts from Exchange Zone 1 etc etc. CourseNana.COM

Once all the athletes are in position, there is a pause before the starting pistol is fired. This is a random delay. When they reach Exchange Zone 1 they hand over the baton to the second member of the team, who then starts to run to Exchange Zone 2 etc. CourseNana.COM

Once the last members of each team have been handed the baton, they run for the finishing line, where there is no handover. The team of the first athlete to cross the finishing line wins the race. The team of the second athlete to cross the finish line is second etc. CourseNana.COM

3.1 Synchronisation CourseNana.COM

Thread synchronisation is needed to implement the rules of a relay race in this simulation. CourseNana.COM

All athletes must be in position before the race can start. See Figure 1 and the description at the start of Section 3. CourseNana.COM

In concurrent programming terms this means that all the threads representing the athletes running a particular leg of the race must have started to execute but have become blocked in a synchronisation object before the simulated race can begin. CourseNana.COM

The athlete threads running the first leg of the race become blocked in a synchronisation object of class StartAgent (see Appendix A2). The athletes running the other legs are blocked at a synchronisation object. There are three such objects, one for each Exchange Zone, and they are of class EZAgent. See Appendix A3. CourseNana.COM

3.1.1 Start CourseNana.COM

The simulation should represent the actual start of a relay race as closely as possible. In a relay race the athletes must first take their position at their starting positions either the start or the appropriate exchange zone. This should be represented in the simulation by each created thread blocking in the appropriate synchronisation object, after updating readyCount. CourseNana.COM

Once all the athletes’ threads have blocked, the race can start. theThreads[0][j], j {0, 3} are unblocked by main releasing the waiting threads representing the starting athletes in each team. CourseNana.COM

How does main know when all threads have blocked? StartAgent and EZAgent have a data member readyCount that records the number of threads blocked in each synchronisation object. They also have a member function readyToStart which returns false if the number of blocked threads < NO_TEAMS and true if the number of blocked threads == NO_TEAMS. CourseNana.COM

When there are NO_TEAMS threads blocked in the StartAgent object and the one thread blocked in each of the twelve EZAgent objects, the race can be started. a short random delay has elapsed which represents the athletes in position awaiting the start i,e,, waiting for the starting gun. When this time delay finishes main calls the proceed member function in the StartAgent object. CourseNana.COM

The threads that are blocked in EZAgents must simply wait to be unblocked by the preceding thread in their team. CourseNana.COM

3.1.2 Baton Exchange
At the end of the time delays of theThreads[0][j], j {0, 3} , each thread must CourseNana.COM

unblock the next member of its team that is blocked at exchange zone 0 i.e. CourseNana.COM

theThreads[0][j] must theThreads[1][j], j {0, 3} CourseNana.COM

individually unblock the corresponding CourseNana.COM

The unblocked threads then enter their own time delay representing the running of their leg of the race. theThreads[0][j], j {0, 3} all then terminate after recording the time that it took to run their leg of the race i.e., their time delay. This should be stored in the appropriate entry in the ThreadMap and will require a modification to the Competitor class. CourseNana.COM

The above protocol is executed by theThreads[1][j], j {0, 3} unblock theThreads[2][j], j {0, 3} that are waiting at exchange zone 1. CourseNana.COM

This is repeated at exchange zone 2, where theThreads[2][j], j {0, 3} unblock theThreads[3][j], j {0, 3}. CourseNana.COM

NOTE: the diagram in Figure 1 shows that 12 EZ objects are required. This is correct for the FINAL simulation. However, the sync object at the end of the race (of class FinishAgent) is developed in the third and final part of this assignment. Hence for THIS part, use 4 additional EZAgents (exchanges[x][3]) at the end of the race. These will not block any threads and theThread[x][3] will simply call proceed on these final EZAgents, and then terminate. CourseNana.COM

In the final simulation, which includes part 3, exchanges[x][3] will be removed and replaced by a single object of class FinishAgent. CourseNana.COM

4. Advice CourseNana.COM

You should aim to complete this part of the assignment by the start of Week 9. Support for the final part of the assignment (part 3) will be available in Week 9. CourseNana.COM

5. Requirements CourseNana.COM

In the final program that you submit, you will need to provide .h and .cpp files for each class that you develop. CourseNana.COM

6. Malpractice CourseNana.COM

There are well known solutions to some aspects of the synchronisation problems that feature in this part of the assignment. However, YOU ARE EXPECTED TO WRITE YOUR OWN CODE ON YOUR OWN and to follow the code structure outlined above. Therefore, each line of your code for this part of the assignment should be carefully commented, explaining its role in the synchronisation protocols. Omitted or inadequate comments will result in a substantial loss of marks, as will block copying from any published source. The unit leader’s decision is final in the event of a dispute. CourseNana.COM

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