Zhirayr Zhirayr - 6 months ago 24
Java Question

Concurrently find and remove element from collection or wait

public class MyClass {
private List<Integer> resources = new ArrayList<>();

public synchronized Integer getAndRemoveResourceOrWait(Integer requestedResource) throws InterruptedException {
while(resources.stream().anyMatch((r) -> { return r >= requestedResource; })) {
Integer found = resources.stream().findFirst((r) -> {
return r >= requestedResource;
return found;

public void addResource(Integer resource) {

Thread "A" episodically invokes addResource with random value.
A few another threads actively invokes getAndRemoveResourceOrWait.

What I need to do to let method getAndRemoveResourceOrWait work concurrently?

For example, thread "X" invokes getAndRemoveResourceOrWait with variable 128 which does not exists in resources collection. So, it become waiting for it. While it is waiting, thread "Y" invokes getAndRemoveResourceOrWait with variable 64 and it exists in resources collection. Thread "Y" should not wait for thread "X" to complete.


What I need to do to let method getAndRemoveResourceOrWait work concurrently?

It simply needs to run on a different thread to the one that calls addResource(resource).

Note that getAndRemoveResource is a blocking (synchronous) operation in the sense that the thread making the call is blocked until it gets the answer. However one thread that is calling getAndRemoveResource does not block another thread calling getAndRemoveResource. The key is that the wait() call releases the mutex, and then reacquires it when the mutex is notified. What will happen here is that a notifyAll will cause all waiting threads to way up, one at a time.

However, there is a bug on your addResource method. The method needs to be declared as synchronized. If you don't call notifyAll() while the current thread holds the mutex for on this, you will get an exception. (And this is also necessary to ensure that the updates to the shared resources object are visible ... in both directions.)

Also, this implementation is not going to scale well:

  • Each waiting thread will scan the entire resource list on every update; i.e. on every call to addResource.
  • When a waiting thread finds a resource, it will scan the list twice more to remove it.
  • All of this is done while holding the mutex on the shared MyClass instance ... which blocks addResource as well.