Multithreading Models in Operating System

Ultimately, a relationship must exist between user threads and kernel threads. there are three common ways of establishing such a relationship: the many-to-one model, the one-to-one model, and the many-to-many model

Many-to-One Model

The many-to-one model maps many user-level threads to one kernel thread. Thread management is done by the thread library in user space, so it is efficient. However, the entire process will block if a thread makes a blocking system call. Also, because only one thread can access the kernel at a time, multiple threads are unable to run in parallel on multicore systems.

Green threads—a thread library available for Solaris systems and adopted in early versions of Java—used the many-to-one model. However, very few systems continue to use the model because of its inability to take advantage of multiple processing cores

One-to-One Model

The one-to-one model maps each user thread to a kernel thread. It provides more concurrency than the many-to-one model by allowing another thread to run when a thread makes a blocking system call. It also allows multiple threads to run in parallel on multiprocessors.

The only drawback to this model is that creating a user thread requires creating the corresponding kernel thread. Because the overhead of creating kernel threads can burden the performance of an application, most implementations of this model restrict the number of threads supported by the system. Linux, along with the family of Windows operating systems, implement the one-to-one model

Many-to-Many Model

The many-to-many model multiplexes many user-level threads to a smaller or equal number of kernel threads. The number of kernel threads may be specific to either a particular application or a particular machine (an application may be allocated more kernel threads on a multiprocessor than on a single processor)

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