Thursday, July 10, 2008

[2008.07.10] Coordinate Data Structures in System.Threading.Collections [Part I/II]

  • the IConcurrentCollection<T> interface represents a collection which in a thread safe way you can add or remove from
  • some implementations of this are:
    • ConcurrentStack<T>
    • ConcurrentQueue<T>

[1] System.Threading.Collections.ConcurrentQueue<T>

  • NOTE: I will drop the System namespace below to avoid overflow but it precedes all the namespaces listed
  • Threading.Collections.ConcurrentQueue<T> is a thread-safe and scalable queue data structure
  • as with its Collections.Generics.Queue<T> counterpart, ConcurrentQueue<T> provides an Enqueue method for adding an element to the queue
  • unlike Queue<T>, however, ConcurrentQueue<T> does not provide a Dequeue method for removing an item from the queue
  • instead, it provides a TryDequeue method that returns a Boolean value indicating whether an item could be dequeued and an out parameter containing the dequeued element if one could be retrieved
  • while Queue<T> provides Enqueue/Dequeue methods, ConcurrentQueue<T> provides the Enqueue/TryDequeue methods
Example: consider a loop meant to remove each element from the queue and process it

Using Queue<T>

while (queue.Count > 0)


    Data d = stack.Dequeue();



Using ConcurrentQueue<T>

Data d;

while (queue.TryDequeue(out d))




[2] System.Threading.Collections.ConcurrentStack<T>

  • ConcurrentStack<T> serves as a thread-safe alternative to Collections.Generics.Stack<T>
  • while Stack<T> provides Push/Pop methods, ConcurrentStack<T> provides the Push/TryPop methods

Using Stack<T>

Stack<T> stack = new Stack<T>();

while (stack.Count > 0)




// in this stack implmentation one would

// have had to lock around the axis

// of both stack.Count and stack.Pop

Using ConcurrentStack<T>

ConcurrentStack<T> cStack = new ConcurrentStack<T>();

T data;

while (cStack.Count > 0)




// TryPop says try and get something and

//  if its available give it to me

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