Multitasking operating systems, especially real-time operating systems, need to maintain the illusion that all tasks running on top of them are all running at the same time, even though only one or a few tasks really are running at any given moment due to the limitations of the hardware the operating system is running on.
Such multitasking is fairly simple when all tasks are independent from each other. However, when several tasks try to use the same resource, or when tasks try to share information, it can lead to confusion and inconsistency. The task of concurrent computing is to solve that problem. Some solutions involve “locks” similar to the locks used in databases, but they risk causing problems of their own such as deadlock. Other solutions are Non-blocking algorithms and Read-copy-update.
- Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Albert S Woodhull (2006): Operating Systems Design and Implementation, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-142938-8
- Silberschatz, Avi; Galvin, Peter; Gagne, Greg (2008). Operating Systems Concepts, 8th edition. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-12872-5.