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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Explain briefly Deadlock Avoidance and Detection?

Deadlocks are a serious issue that needs to be avoided since it can cause the whole system to hang or crash.

What is Deadlock Avoidance?

- Avoiding a deadlock is possible only if certain information regarding the processes is available with the operating system.
- This information has to be made available to the OS just before the resources are allocated to the processes.
- These are the processes that are to be consumed by the process in its lifetime.
- For every resource request made by the process, any potential threats are checked by the system i.e., whether granting the request of the process will send it in to an unsafe zone or not.
- If it is so then there are possibilities that the system could enter a deadlock.
- Therefore, only those requests are granted by the process that will ensure a safe state of the process.
- It is important for the system to determine whether the next level of the process will be safe or unsafe.
- There are 3 things that the operating system must know at any before or after the execution of the process:
1. The currently available resources.
2. The resources currently allocated to the processes.
3. Resources to be required and released in the future by these processes.

- It is possible that a process might be in an unsafe state but still may not cause a deadlock.
- By the notion of the safe and unsafe state of the process we refer to the system’s ability of entering in to a deadlock.
An example will make it clearer:
- Consider a resource A requested by a process which would make the process state unsafe.
- At the same time it releases another resource say B preventing the circular wait of the resources.
- In such a situation, the system is said to be in an unsafe state though not necessarily in a deadlock.
- There are various algorithms that have been designed for deadlock avoidance and one such is the banker’s algorithm.
- To use this algorithm knowledge about the resource usage limit is required in advance.
-  It is impossible for most of the systems to know what a process will request for in advance.
- This only implies that the deadlock avoidance is also not possible here.
- There are other two algorithms for achieving this task namely wound/ wait and wait/ die algorithms.
- Each of them makes use of a symmetry breaking technique.

What is Deadlock Detection?

- Deadlocks are free to occur under the implementation of this concept.
- Then through the state of the system, the occurrence of the deadlock is confirmed and subsequently mended.
- Here, the resource allocation activities are tracked along with the process states by certain algorithms.
- After this, the algorithm is used for removing the deadlock.
- Deadlock detection is quite easy since the OS scheduler knows about the resources that have been locked by the processes.
- Model checking is one of the techniques used for deadlock detection.
- In this a finite state model is created up on which a progress analysis of the process is carried out and all the terminal sets of the model are found.
- Each of these stands for a deadlock.
- Correction of the deadlock can be done by any of the below mentioned methods after the deadlock has been detected:
1. Process termination: This is about aborting one or more of the processes that cause the deadlock thus ensuring a certain and speedy removal of the deadlock. But this method might prove to be a little expensive because of the loss of the partial computations.
2. Resource preemption: This is about a successive preemption of the allocated resources until the breakdown of the deadlock.

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