Volatile boolean vs AtomicBoolean

I use volatile fields when said field is ONLY UPDATED by its owner thread and the value is only read by other threads, you can think of it as a publish/subscribe scenario where there are many observers but only one publisher. However if those observers must perform some logic based on the value of the field and then push back a new value then I go with Atomic* vars or locks or synchronized blocks, whatever suits me best. In many concurrent scenarios it boils down to get the value, compare it with another one and update if necessary, hence the compareAndSet and getAndSet methods present in the Atomic* classes.

Check the JavaDocs of the java.util.concurrent.atomic package for a list of Atomic classes and an excellent explanation of how they work (just learned that they are lock-free, so they have an advantage over locks or synchronized blocks)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s