Understanding Thread Precedence in Java


Developer.com content material and product suggestions are editorially impartial. We might become profitable whenever you click on on hyperlinks to our companions. Be taught Extra.

Java Programming tutorials

Java, being a multi-threaded programming language, permits builders to execute a number of threads concurrently. Every thread represents an impartial move of management inside a program. Each thread is assigned a precedence upon creation, which determines its relative significance to the JVM (Java Digital Machine). These sometimes vary from 1 to 10, with 5 being the default. On this article, we’ll find out how thread precedence helps optimize efficiency and responsiveness in multi-threaded purposes.

Understanding Thread Precedence

Thread precedence is an integer worth assigned to every thread, starting from Thread.MIN_PRIORITY (which is usually 1) to Thread.MAX_PRIORITY (which is usually 10). These constants are outlined within the Thread class.

  • Thread.MIN_PRIORITY: The minimal precedence a thread can have.
  • Thread.MAX_PRIORITY: The utmost precedence a thread can have.
  • Thread.NORM_PRIORITY: The default precedence assigned to a thread (which is usually 5).

When a thread is created, it inherits the precedence of the thread that created it. It is because threads are sometimes created to carry out subtasks of the creating thread, and it is smart for them to share the identical precedence.

Precedence Scheduling

The Java Digital Machine (JVM) makes use of precedence scheduling to find out which thread ought to be executed. In precedence scheduling, the thread with the best precedence is chosen for execution. If two threads have the identical precedence, they’re scheduled in a round-robin trend. It is a scheduling method whereby every thread is assigned a hard and fast time slice and the JVM switches between them in a round order.

Nonetheless, it’s necessary to notice that thread precedence is a suggestion, not a strict order of execution. The JVM’s thread scheduler isn’t obligated to observe the precedence ranges strictly. It’s as much as the underlying working system and JVM implementation to interpret and implement thread priorities.

Setting Thread Precedence

You may set the precedence of a thread utilizing the setPriority(int precedence) technique supplied by the Thread class. For instance, if you wish to set the precedence of a thread named myThread to the utmost precedence, you’ll use:

Thread myThread = new Thread();

We will additionally set a customized precedence by passing in an int worth that’s between the MIN_PRIORITY and MAX_PRIORITY values:

Thread myThread = new Thread();

Some Suggestions for Utilizing Thread Precedence in Java

Whereas thread precedence generally is a useful gizmo, it’s necessary to make use of it judiciously. Listed here are some ideas for working with thread priorities:

  1. Keep away from Extreme Reliance on Precedence
    Relying too closely on thread precedence can result in non-portable and non-deterministic conduct. Totally different JVM implementations and working programs might deal with thread priorities otherwise. Subsequently, it’s greatest to design your utility to be strong and environment friendly with out relying solely on precedence.
  2. Use Precedence for Steering, Not Management
    Consider thread precedence as a suggestion to the JVM concerning the relative significance of threads. It’s not a assure {that a} thread might be scheduled in any specific order. Subsequently, use thread priorities to information the scheduler, however don’t depend on them for essential program performance.
  3. Keep away from Precedence Inversion
    Precedence inversion happens when a higher-priority thread is ready for a useful resource held by a lower-priority thread. This could result in sudden delays. To keep away from precedence inversion, use synchronization constructs like locks and semaphores appropriately.
  4. Take a look at Completely
    Since thread scheduling conduct can range throughout totally different JVMs and working programs, it’s necessary to completely take a look at your utility on the goal platforms to make sure that the chosen thread priorities have the specified impact.

Learn: Thread Security in Java

An Instance State of affairs

Let’s contemplate a real-world situation the place understanding and managing thread priorities could be essential.

State of affairs: Think about you’re creating a real-time system that displays varied sensors and controls actuators. You will have a number of threads performing totally different duties, comparable to studying sensor information, processing it, and sending management indicators.

On this situation, you may assign larger precedence to the threads chargeable for processing sensor information and controlling actuators. This ensures that these essential duties are executed promptly, even when there are different threads performing much less essential operations.

Right here’s what which may seem like by way of Java code:

class SensorThread extends Thread {
   public void run() {
      whereas (true) {
         // Simulated sensor studying
         double sensorData = Math.random() * 100; // Change with precise sensor studying logic

         // Course of sensor information (e.g., ship to a controller)

         strive {
            Thread.sleep(1000); // Simulated delay between readings
         } catch (InterruptedException e) {

   personal void processSensorData(double information) {
      // Add your sensor information processing logic right here
      System.out.println("Sensor Information: " + information);

class ActuatorThread extends Thread {
   public void run() {
      whereas (true) {
         // Simulated actuator management
         // Change with precise management logic
         boolean controlSignal = Math.random() > 0.5;

         // Ship management sign to actuators

         strive {
            Thread.sleep(2000); // Simulated delay between management indicators
         } catch (InterruptedException e) {

   personal void controlActuators(boolean sign) {
      // Add your actuator management logic right here
      System.out.println("Management Sign Despatched: " + sign);

public class RealTimeSystem {
   public static void predominant(String[] args) {
      SensorThread sensorThread = new SensorThread();
      ActuatorThread actuatorThread = new ActuatorThread();

      // Give sensor and actuator threads highest priorities

      // Begin threads

Closing Ideas on Thread Precedence in Java

Thread precedence is a useful gizmo for guiding the JVM’s thread scheduler, nevertheless it ought to be used judiciously. It’s necessary to do not forget that thread precedence isn’t a strict assure of execution order, and extreme reliance on it might probably result in non-portable and non-deterministic conduct.

When utilizing thread priorities, contemplate the relative significance of various duties in your utility. Assign larger priorities to threads chargeable for essential operations, however all the time design your utility with out relying solely on precedence.

Now that you’ve discovered about thread security in Java, we recommend you try our tutorial masking the Finest Practices for Threading in Java.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *