The Readers –Writers Problem in operating System

Suppose that a database is to be shared among several concurrent processes. Some of these processes may want only to read the database, whereas others may want to update (that is, to read and write) the database. We distinguish between these two types of processes by referring to the former as readers and to the latter as writers. Obviously, if two readers access the shared data simultaneously, no adverse effects will result. However, if a writer and some other process (either a reader or a writer) access the database simultaneously, chaos may ensue

In the solution to the first readers–writers problem, the reader processes share the following data structures:

semaphore rw mutex = 1;
semaphore mutex = 1;
int read count = 0;

The semaphores mutex and rw mutex are initialized to 1; read count is initialized to 0. The semaphore rw mutex is common to both reader and writer

do {
wait(rw mutex);
/* writing is performed */
signal(rw mutex);
} while (true);

processes. The mutex semaphore is used to ensure mutual exclusion when the variable read count is updated. The read count variable keeps track of how many processes are currently reading the object. The semaphore rw mutex functions as a mutual exclusion semaphore for the writers. It is also used by the first or last reader that enters or exits the critical section. It is not used by readers who enter or exit while other readers are in their critical sections.

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