deadlock

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deadlock

[′ded‚läk]
(computer science)
A situation in which a task in a multiprogramming system cannot proceed because it is waiting for an event that will never occur. Also known as deadly embrace; interlock; knot.

deadlock

1. A lock equipped with a dead bolt only.
2. A lock in which a bolt is moved by means of a key or thumb turn, and is positively stopped in its projected position.

deadlock

(parallel, programming)
A situation where two or more processes are unable to proceed because each is waiting for one of the others to do something.

A common example is a program waiting for output from a server while the server is waiting for more input from the controlling program before outputting anything. It is reported that this particular flavour of deadlock is sometimes called a "starvation deadlock", though the term "starvation" is more properly used for situations where a program can never run simply because it never gets high enough priority.

Another common flavour is "constipation", in which each process is trying to send stuff to the other but all buffers are full because nobody is reading anything). See deadly embrace.

Another example, common in database programming, is two processes that are sharing some resource (e.g. read access to a table) but then both decide to wait for exclusive (e.g. write) access.

The term "deadly embrace" is mostly synonymous, though usually used only when exactly two processes are involved. This is the more popular term in Europe, while deadlock predominates in the United States.

Compare: livelock. See also safety property, liveness property.
References in periodicals archive ?
Earlier on Wednesday the cabinet asked Kuwait's ruler to consider dissolving parliament in a widely expected bid to clear the way for a new election and end the months of political deadlock.
THE threat of a voting reform referendum on May 5 being scuppered by political deadlock in the House of Lords was eased after Tory and Labour peers struck a deal.
Appearing at a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Muhammed Naci Itri, Erdogan said he was pleased with the end of the political deadlock in Iraq with the establishment of the new Iraqi Government under Nur al Maliki's leadership.
Egypt urged all Iraqi political blocs to be more flexible towards a Saudi initiative to meet in Riyadh to discuss formation of an Iraqi government after more than sevenmonths of political deadlock.
23 -- The already troubled relations between Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) party and India has worsened further amid prolonged political deadlock in Nepal.
Kathmandu, July 1 (ANI): The Unified CPN (Maoist) has hailed Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal's decision to resign, saying it paves the way for a consensus to end the political deadlock in the country.
Issuing a press release on Saturday, the EU hoped the decision will prove to be a decisive step in the pursuit of a solution to the protracted political deadlock.
Extremists are also seeking to exploit political deadlock after the inconclusive March 7 election as the Americans get set to leave by the end of 2011.
The appointment of a new premier on Friday will end months of political deadlock following the abolishment of the country's 240-year-old monarchy.
Mr Leterme's government, a fractious alliance of Christian Democrats, Socialists, Liberals and nationalist hard-liners from both sides of Belgium's linguistic divide, took office on March 20 after more than six months of political deadlock over the language issue.
AN EMERGENCY meeting called to break Sefton council's political deadlock failed to end the crisis.
The move ends months of political deadlock among Shia, Sunnis and Kurds, and it is hoped it will help stop the bloody insurgency and sectarian strife.