user1300560 user1300560 - 1 month ago 20
C# Question

Threadsafe FIFO Queue/Buffer

I need to implement a sort of task buffer. Basic requirements are:


  • Process tasks in a single background thread

  • Receive tasks from multiple threads

  • Process ALL received tasks i.e. make sure buffer is drained of buffered tasks after a stop signal is received

  • Order of tasks received per thread must be maintained



I was thinking of implementing it using a Queue like below. Would appreciate feedback on the implementation. Are there any other brighter ideas to implement such a thing?

public class TestBuffer
{
private readonly object queueLock = new object();
private Queue<Task> queue = new Queue<Task>();
private bool running = false;

public TestBuffer()
{
}

public void start()
{
Thread t = new Thread(new ThreadStart(run));
t.Start();
}

private void run()
{
running = true;

bool run = true;
while(run)
{
Task task = null;
// Lock queue before doing anything
lock (queueLock)
{
// If the queue is currently empty and it is still running
// we need to wait until we're told something changed
if (queue.Count == 0 && running)
{
Monitor.Wait(queueLock);
}

// Check there is something in the queue
// Note - there might not be anything in the queue if we were waiting for something to change and the queue was stopped
if (queue.Count > 0)
{
task = queue.Dequeue();
}
}

// If something was dequeued, handle it
if (task != null)
{
handle(task);
}

// Lock the queue again and check whether we need to run again
// Note - Make sure we drain the queue even if we are told to stop before it is emtpy
lock (queueLock)
{
run = queue.Count > 0 || running;
}
}
}

public void enqueue(Task toEnqueue)
{
lock (queueLock)
{
queue.Enqueue(toEnqueue);
Monitor.PulseAll(queueLock);
}
}

public void stop()
{
lock (queueLock)
{
running = false;
Monitor.PulseAll(queueLock);
}
}

public void handle(Task dequeued)
{
dequeued.execute();
}
}

Answer

You can actually handle this with the out-of-the-box BlockingCollection.

It is designed to have 1 or more producers, and 1 or more consumers. In your case, you would have multiple producers and one consumer.

When you receive a stop signal, have that signal handler

  • Signal producer threads to stop
  • Call CompleteAdding on the BlockingCollection instance

The consumer thread will continue to run until all queued items are removed and processed, then it will encounter the condition that the BlockingCollection is complete. When the thread encounters that condition, it just exits.