Concurrency is the ability of a system to execute multiple tasks simultaneously. In order to achieve concurrency, tasks must be able to share resources without interfering with each other. Concurrency is often used in situations where it is desirable to make efficient use of resources, such as CPU time or I/O bandwidth.
Concurrency can be achieved in various ways, including multitasking, multiprocessing, and multithreading. Multitasking is the ability of an operating system to execute more than one task at a time. Multiprocessing is the ability of a system to have more than one processor active at a time. Multithreading is the ability of a program to split itself into multiple threads that can be executed concurrently.
Concurrency is important for two main reasons. First, concurrent systems can provide better performance than non-concurrent systems by supporting parallelism. For example, if a single-threaded processor has to execute two threads sequentially, it can take twice as long as if it could execute the threads concurrently on two cores. Second, concurrent systems can provide better responsiveness than non-concurrent systems by allowing different parts of the system to handle different tasks simultaneously.
There are two main ways to implement concurrency: process-based and thread-based. Process-based concurrency involves creating separate processes that can run independently from each other. Thread-based concurrency involves creating threads that share the same process but can execute independently from each other. Both process-based and thread-based concurrency have their own advantages and disadvantages
Process-based concurrency has the advantage of being more scalable than thread-based concurrency because each process has its own address space and can therefore run on a separate processor or core without competing for resources with other processes. The disadvantage of process-based concurrency is that communication between processes is more difficult because processes have their own address spaces and cannot directly access each other's memory.
Thread-based concurrency has the advantage of being more efficient than process-based concurrency because threads share the same address space and can therefore communicate directly with each other without incurring the overhead of interprocess communication. The disadvantage of thread-based concurrency is that it is not as scalable as process-based concurrency because all threads share the same address space and compete for resources with each other.