Boost threads; how do I get a thread to yield after a specified amount of time

This is a discussion on Boost threads; how do I get a thread to yield after a specified amount of time within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I'm trying to get into boost threads but I'm at a loss by examples and challenges by which to learn, ...

  1. #1
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    Boost threads; how do I get a thread to yield after a specified amount of time

    I'm trying to get into boost threads but I'm at a loss by examples and challenges by which to learn, so I was trying to remember an example in my java course where a user is prompted for a password, and if they don't enter it and allow the thread to complete normally the thread ends. I was trying to recreate this but it doesn't seem to be working. I know what mutexes do but I don't know if I'm using the right strategy. How do I get a thread to "time out"?

    Code:
    #include <string>
    #include <iostream>
    
    #include <boost/thread/thread.hpp>
    #include <boost/thread/mutex.hpp>
    #include <boost/bind.hpp>
    
    using std::cout;    using std::cin;
    using std::endl;    using std::string;
    
    boost::timed_mutex timedMutex;
    
    const string pass("somejunk");
    
    void login(string name)
    {
        boost::timed_mutex::scoped_lock (timedMutex, 200);
        string attempt;
        while(attempt != pass)
        {
            cout << "Enter the password " << name <<" : ";
            cin >> attempt;
        }
        cout << "Access Granted" << endl;
    }
    
    int main()
    {
        boost::thread athread(boost::bind(login, "Daniel"));
        athread.join();
    
        return 0;
    }
    Edit: I try to remove the join on the thread but it doesn't even execute before ending.
    Last edited by indigo0086; 07-17-2007 at 08:56 AM.

  2. #2
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    Mario

  3. #3
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    Three issues for consideration.

    Firstly, within your "while (attempt != pass)" loop you need to check if the time limit has expired. When the time limit expires, break out (preferably without granting access).

    Second, operations on cin do not time out. You will need to use some technique, such as checking if there is data to be read from cin as well as checking for timeout, before actually attempting to read from cin.

    Third, multi threading is not necessary to do this (and is probably unnecessarily complex).

  4. #4
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    I'm not using multithreads to do this particular exercise, it's just an example to learn the library. Doing simple things in a multithreaded way to understand it better.

    I understand the point though

  5. #5
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    There is no way in standard C++ to abort an I/O operation. Nor does Boost currently support it. Once Boost.Asio adds support for file I/O, you could start an async operation and cancel it on timeout, but that's not yet reality.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  6. #6
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    I see. the more I read into it there can be better multithreading examples, but I can't come up with many.

  7. #7
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    It's hard to come up with simple examples. You use multithreading mostly to
    1) move long-running computations out of a thread that must stay responsive for UI or some other purpose
    2) take advantage of multiple cores/CPUs in data processing, in which case you would typically split up your data and set each thread to working on a bit of it.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  8. #8
    CSharpener vart's Avatar
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    Also you can take out the IO operations from the CPU hungry thread - so your calculations will not be delayed by the slow IO operations
    The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time,
    the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time.

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    I see. Well I've found some more basic examples to work with threads. What I first was trying to do was have multiple threads execute a looping count out of order. So here's what I got
    Code:
    #include <string>
    #include <iostream>
    
    #include <boost/thread/thread.hpp>
    #include <boost/thread/mutex.hpp>
    #include <boost/thread/xtime.hpp>
    #include <boost/bind.hpp>
    
    using std::cout;    using std::cin;
    using std::endl;    using std::string;
    
    boost::mutex ioMutex;
    
    
    void count(int id)
    {
        for(int i = 0; i < 50; ++i)
        {
            boost::mutex::scoped_lock lk(ioMutex);
            cout << "THREAD " << id << ": " << i << endl;
        }
    }
    
    int main()
    {
        boost::thread_group tGroup;
        for(int i = 0; i < 4; ++i)
        {
           tGroup.create_thread(boost::bind(count, i));
        }
        tGroup.join_all();
    
        return 0;
    }
    I understand what is going on with my previous experience with java threads, the one thing I

    1. When I "call tGroup.join_all() is it to ensure that main doesn't terminate before all the other threads do, or just ensure that all threads terminate naturally?

    2. Why does the thread class throw a fit when I share a lock object with all threads. For example lk(ioMutex) would be declared globally, and each thread locks or unlock it as so.
    Code:
    lk.lock();
    for.....
    lk.unlock()
    Is this because during the execution, if lock is already locked, then a thread trying to obtain one gets an exception thrown at them, or becaus a lock object shouldn't be shared as such.

  10. #10
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    I found my own answer to the first
    http://www.boost.org/doc/html/thread/faq.html#id1746163
    Are lock objects thread safe?


    No! Lock objects are not meant to be shared between threads. They are meant to be short-lived objects created on automatic storage within a code block. Any other usage is just likely to lead to errors and won't really be of actual benefit anyway. Share Mutexes, not Locks. For more information see the rationale behind the design for lock objects.

  11. #11
    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indigo0086 View Post
    The Lock is basically just a helper object which enforces RAII for locking Mutex objects. So when the Lock goes out of scope, the Mutex is automatically unlocked.

    In many other threading paradigms the words "Mutex" and "Lock" are pretty much interchangeable, but not in Boost threads. A better name might have been "Key" instead of "Lock," since it is an object which locks something, not an object which is itself locked.

    So, think "Key" not "Lock" and remember, many people may have keys to the same lock, but each person has their OWN key, they are not shared.

  12. #12
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    I get it now.

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    one thing to add: never use cout from parallel threads, because it's not thread safe. you should prefer printf in this case.

  14. #14
    CSharpener vart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pheres View Post
    one thing to add: never use cout from parallel threads, because it's not thread safe. you should prefer printf in this case.
    Where did you get this strange idea?
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/lib...3b(VS.80).aspx
    The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time,
    the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time.

  15. #15
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    http://gcc.gnu.org/ml/libstdc++/2004-10/msg00070.html
    http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=6&gl=de
    http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=7&gl=de

    there are a lot more references out there.
    At least I saw it myself: I wondered for days why my scheduler printed just a bunch of crap as debug output. Switching to printf cured it

    Hm, but your link makes me wonder now...

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