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GATE | GATE CS 2010 | Question 23
  • Difficulty Level : Hard
  • Last Updated : 13 Dec, 2013

Consider the methods used by processes P1 and P2 for accessing their critical sections whenever needed, as given below. The initial values of shared boolean variables S1 and S2 are randomly assigned.

Method Used by P1
while (S1 == S2) ;
Critica1 Section
S1 = S2;

Method Used by P2
while (S1 != S2) ;
Critica1 Section
S2 = not (S1);

Which one of the following statements describes the properties achieved?
(A) Mutual exclusion but not progress
(B) Progress but not mutual exclusion
(C) Neither mutual exclusion nor progress
(D) Both mutual exclusion and progress

Answer: (A)

Mutual Exclusion:
A way of making sure that if one process is using a shared modifiable data, the other processes will be excluded from doing the same thing. while one process executes the shared variable, all other processes desiring to do so at the same time moment should be kept waiting; when that process has finished executing the shared variable, one of the processes waiting; while that process has finished executing the shared variable, one of the processes waiting to do so should be allowed to proceed. In this fashion, each process executing the shared data (variables) excludes all others from doing so simultaneously. This is called Mutual Exclusion.

Progress Requirement:
If no process is executing in its critical section and there exist some processes that wish to enter their critical section, then the selection of the processes that will enter the critical section next cannot be postponed indefinitely.


It can be easily observed that the Mutual Exclusion requirement is satisfied by the above solution, P1 can enter critical section only if S1 is not equal to S2, and P2 can enter critical section only if S1 is equal to S2. But here Progress Requirement is not satisfied. Suppose when s1=1 and s2=0 and process p1 is not interested to enter into critical section but p2 want to enter critical section. P2 is not able to enter critical section in this as only when p1 finishes execution, then only p2 can enter (then only s1 = s2 condition be satisfied). Progress will not be satisfied when any process which is not interested to enter into the critical section will not allow other interested process to enter into the critical section.

Reference :

This solution is contributed by Nitika Bansal

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