Deadlock Prevention

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Deadlock Prevention:To prevent the system from deadlocks, one of the four discussed conditions that may create a deadlock should be discarded.

The methods for those conditions are as follows:

Mutual Exclusion:
In general, we do not have systems with all resources being sharable. Some resources like printers, processing units are non-sharable. So it is not possible to prevent deadlocks by denying mutual exclusion.

Hold and Wait:
One protocol to ensure that hold-and-wait condition never occurs says each process must request and get all of its resources before it begins execution. Another protocol is “Each process can request resources only when it does not occupies any resources.”

The second protocol is better. However, both protocols cause low resource utilization and starvation. Many resources are allocated but most of them are unused for a long period of time. A process that requests several commonly used resources causes many others to wait indefinitely.

No Preemption:
One protocol is “If a process that is holding some resources requests another resource and that resource cannot be allocated to it, then it must release all resources that are currently allocated to it.”

Another protocol is “When a process requests some resources, if they are available, allocate them. If a resource it requested is not available, then we check whether it is being used or it is allocated to some other process waiting for other resources. If that resource is not being used, then the OS preempts it from the waiting process and allocate it to the requesting process. If that resource is used, the requesting process must wait.” This protocol can be applied to resources whose states can easily be saved and restored (registers, memory space). It cannot be applied to resources like printers.

Circular Wait:
One protocol to ensure that the circular wait condition never holds is “Impose a linear ordering of all resource types.” Then, each process can only request resources in an increasing order of priority.

For example, set priorities for r1 = 1, r2 = 2, r3 = 3, and r4 = 4. With these priorities, if process P wants to use r1 and r3, it should first request r1, then r3. Another protocol is “Whenever a process requests a resource rj, it must have released all resources rk with priority(rk) ≥ priority (rj).

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