Wait-for graph

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A wait-for graph in computer science is a directed graph used for deadlock detection in operating systems and relational database systems.

In computer science, a system that allows concurrent operation of multiple processes and locking of resources and which does not provide mechanisms to avoid or prevent deadlock must support a mechanism to detect deadlocks and an algorithm for recovering from them.

One such deadlock detection algorithm makes use of a wait-for graph to track which other processes a process is currently blocking on. In a wait-for graph, processes are represented as nodes, and an edge from process P_i to P_j implies P_j is holding a resource that P_i needs and thus P_i is waiting for P_j to release its lock on that resource. If the process is waiting for more than a single resource to become available (the trivial case), multiple edges may represent a conjunctive (and) or disjunctive (or) set of different resources or a certain number of equivalent resources from a collection. In the conjunctive case, graph cycles imply the possibility of a deadlock, whereas in the disjunctive case knots are indicative of deadlock possibility. There is no simple algorithm for detecting the possibility of deadlock in the final case. (Srinavasan, Rajaram 2011)

The wait for graph scheme is applicable to a resource allocation system with multiple instances of each resource type.

References[edit]

  • Silberschatz, Abraham; Peter Galvin; Greg Gagne (2003). Operating System Concepts. John Wiley & Sons, INC. p. 260. ISBN 0-471-25060-0.