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By A. M. Lister M.A. (auth.)

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Ns (proceed) which implies that A cannot pass L1 before B passes L2. The above example is asymmetric in that the progress of A is regulated by that of B but not vice versa. The case in which two processes each regulate the progress of the other is exemplified by the classic problem of the producer and consumer. Since this problem is typical of many which arise in inter-process communication we shall describe it in some detail. A set of 'producer' processes and a set of 'consumer' processes communicate by means of a buffer into which the producers deposit items and from which the consumers extract them.

Ns (proceed) which implies that A cannot pass L1 before B passes L2. The above example is asymmetric in that the progress of A is regulated by that of B but not vice versa. The case in which two processes each regulate the progress of the other is exemplified by the classic problem of the producer and consumer. Since this problem is typical of many which arise in inter-process communication we shall describe it in some detail. A set of 'producer' processes and a set of 'consumer' processes communicate by means of a buffer into which the producers deposit items and from which the consumers extract them.

During execution of the instruction attempts by other processes to access the location are inhibited. The idea is that a particular location is used as a flag which indicates whether entry to the wait and signal procedures is allowed. If the flag is non-zero (say) entry is permitted, otherwise it is not. The lock operation consists of executing a test and set instruction on the flag, which determines its value and at the same time sets it to zero. If the value of the flag is non-zero then the process proceeds, otherwise it loops on the test and set instruction until the process currently inside the wait or signal procedure unlocks the flag by setting it to some non-zero value.

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