Creating a blocking Queue in .NET?


Question

I have a scenario where I have multiple threads adding to a queue and multiple threads reading from the same queue. If the queue reaches a specific size all threads that are filling the queue will be blocked on add until an item is removed from the queue.

The solution below is what I am using right now and my question is: How can this be improved? Is there an object that already enables this behavior in the BCL that I should be using?

internal class BlockingCollection<T> : CollectionBase, IEnumerable
{
    //todo: might be worth changing this into a proper QUEUE

    private AutoResetEvent _FullEvent = new AutoResetEvent(false);

    internal T this[int i]
    {
        get { return (T) List[i]; }
    }

    private int _MaxSize;
    internal int MaxSize
    {
        get { return _MaxSize; }
        set
        {
            _MaxSize = value;
            checkSize();
        }
    }

    internal BlockingCollection(int maxSize)
    {
        MaxSize = maxSize;
    }

    internal void Add(T item)
    {
        Trace.WriteLine(string.Format("BlockingCollection add waiting: {0}", Thread.CurrentThread.ManagedThreadId));

        _FullEvent.WaitOne();

        List.Add(item);

        Trace.WriteLine(string.Format("BlockingCollection item added: {0}", Thread.CurrentThread.ManagedThreadId));

        checkSize();
    }

    internal void Remove(T item)
    {
        lock (List)
        {
            List.Remove(item);
        }

        Trace.WriteLine(string.Format("BlockingCollection item removed: {0}", Thread.CurrentThread.ManagedThreadId));
    }

    protected override void OnRemoveComplete(int index, object value)
    {
        checkSize();
        base.OnRemoveComplete(index, value);
    }

    internal new IEnumerator GetEnumerator()
    {
        return List.GetEnumerator();
    }

    private void checkSize()
    {
        if (Count < MaxSize)
        {
            Trace.WriteLine(string.Format("BlockingCollection FullEvent set: {0}", Thread.CurrentThread.ManagedThreadId));
            _FullEvent.Set();
        }
        else
        {
            Trace.WriteLine(string.Format("BlockingCollection FullEvent reset: {0}", Thread.CurrentThread.ManagedThreadId));
            _FullEvent.Reset();
        }
    }
}
1
160
2/9/2009 11:05:13 PM

Accepted Answer

That looks very unsafe (very little synchronization); how about something like:

class SizeQueue<T>
{
    private readonly Queue<T> queue = new Queue<T>();
    private readonly int maxSize;
    public SizeQueue(int maxSize) { this.maxSize = maxSize; }

    public void Enqueue(T item)
    {
        lock (queue)
        {
            while (queue.Count >= maxSize)
            {
                Monitor.Wait(queue);
            }
            queue.Enqueue(item);
            if (queue.Count == 1)
            {
                // wake up any blocked dequeue
                Monitor.PulseAll(queue);
            }
        }
    }
    public T Dequeue()
    {
        lock (queue)
        {
            while (queue.Count == 0)
            {
                Monitor.Wait(queue);
            }
            T item = queue.Dequeue();
            if (queue.Count == maxSize - 1)
            {
                // wake up any blocked enqueue
                Monitor.PulseAll(queue);
            }
            return item;
        }
    }
}

(edit)

In reality, you'd want a way to close the queue so that readers start exiting cleanly - perhaps something like a bool flag - if set, an empty queue just returns (rather than blocking):

bool closing;
public void Close()
{
    lock(queue)
    {
        closing = true;
        Monitor.PulseAll(queue);
    }
}
public bool TryDequeue(out T value)
{
    lock (queue)
    {
        while (queue.Count == 0)
        {
            if (closing)
            {
                value = default(T);
                return false;
            }
            Monitor.Wait(queue);
        }
        value = queue.Dequeue();
        if (queue.Count == maxSize - 1)
        {
            // wake up any blocked enqueue
            Monitor.PulseAll(queue);
        }
        return true;
    }
}
196
2/9/2009 11:50:28 PM

Use .net 4 BlockingCollection, to enqueue use Add(), to dequeue use Take(). It internally uses non-blocking ConcurrentQueue. More info here Fast and Best Producer/consumer queue technique BlockingCollection vs concurrent Queue


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