Racetrack problem

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A racetrack problem is a specific instance of a type of race condition. A racetrack problem is a flaw in a system or process whereby the output and/or result of the process is unexpectedly and critically dependent on the sequence or timing of other events that run in a circular pattern. Note that this problem is semantically different from a race condition because of the circular nature of the problem.

The term originates with the idea of two signals racing each other in a circular motion to influence the output first.[citation needed] Racetrack problems can occur in electronics systems, especially logic circuits, and in computer software, especially multithreaded or distributed programs.

The term "Racetrack problem" was coined by a Research Engineer at Penn State University.[citation needed] This engineer noticed that the problem seemed to involve a racetrack, instead of just any kind of race.

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