Phaser

public class Phaser extends Object

A reusable synchronization barrier, similar in functionality to CyclicBarrier and CountDownLatch but supporting more flexible usage.

Registration. Unlike the case for other barriers, the number of parties registered to synchronize on a phaser may vary over time. Tasks may be registered at any time (using methods register(), bulkRegister(int), or forms of constructors establishing initial numbers of parties), and optionally deregistered upon any arrival (using arriveAndDeregister()). As is the case with most basic synchronization constructs, registration and deregistration affect only internal counts; they do not establish any further internal bookkeeping, so tasks cannot query whether they are registered. (However, you can introduce such bookkeeping by subclassing this class.)

Synchronization. Like a CyclicBarrier, a Phaser may be repeatedly awaited. Method arriveAndAwaitAdvance() has effect analogous to CyclicBarrier.await. Each generation of a phaser has an associated phase number. The phase number starts at zero, and advances when all parties arrive at the phaser, wrapping around to zero after reaching Integer.MAX_VALUE. The use of phase numbers enables independent control of actions upon arrival at a phaser and upon awaiting others, via two kinds of methods that may be invoked by any registered party:

  • Arrival. Methods arrive() and arriveAndDeregister() record arrival. These methods do not block, but return an associated arrival phase number; that is, the phase number of the phaser to which the arrival applied. When the final party for a given phase arrives, an optional action is performed and the phase advances. These actions are performed by the party triggering a phase advance, and are arranged by overriding method onAdvance(int, int), which also controls termination. Overriding this method is similar to, but more flexible than, providing a barrier action to a CyclicBarrier.
  • Waiting. Method awaitAdvance(int) requires an argument indicating an arrival phase number, and returns when the phaser advances to (or is already at) a different phase. Unlike similar constructions using CyclicBarrier, method awaitAdvance continues to wait even if the waiting thread is interrupted. Interruptible and timeout versions are also available, but exceptions encountered while tasks wait interruptibly or with timeout do not change the state of the phaser. If necessary, you can perform any associated recovery within handlers of those exceptions, often after invoking forceTermination. Phasers may also be used by tasks executing in a ForkJoinPool. Progress is ensured if the pool's parallelismLevel can accommodate the maximum number of simultaneously blocked parties.

Termination. A phaser may enter a termination state, that may be checked using method isTerminated(). Upon termination, all synchronization methods immediately return without waiting for advance, as indicated by a negative return value. Similarly, attempts to register upon termination have no effect. Termination is triggered when an invocation of onAdvance returns true. The default implementation returns true if a deregistration has caused the number of registered parties to become zero. As illustrated below, when phasers control actions with a fixed number of iterations, it is often convenient to override this method to cause termination when the current phase number reaches a threshold. Method forceTermination() is also available to abruptly release waiting threads and allow them to terminate.

Tiering. Phasers may be tiered (i.e., constructed in tree structures) to reduce contention. Phasers with large numbers of parties that would otherwise experience heavy synchronization contention costs may instead be set up so that groups of sub-phasers share a common parent. This may greatly increase throughput even though it incurs greater per-operation overhead.

In a tree of tiered phasers, registration and deregistration of child phasers with their parent are managed automatically. Whenever the number of registered parties of a child phaser becomes non-zero (as established in the Phaser(Phaser, int) constructor, register(), or bulkRegister(int)), the child phaser is registered with its parent. Whenever the number of registered parties becomes zero as the result of an invocation of arriveAndDeregister(), the child phaser is deregistered from its parent.

Monitoring. While synchronization methods may be invoked only by registered parties, the current state of a phaser may be monitored by any caller. At any given moment there are getRegisteredParties() parties in total, of which getArrivedParti