Processes and threads are essential components of any multitasking operating system. They allow multiple tasks to run concurrently on a system, which is a crucial part of modern computing. In this tutorial, we will explore the concepts of processes and threads in Python, and how to implement them in your programs. We'll cover the differences between processes and threads, how they work, and the advantages and disadvantages of using each of them in Python. We'll also dive into some practical examples to help you understand the concepts better.

Table of Contents :

  • What are processes and threads
  • processes Vs  threads
  • Single-core processors 
  • Multicore processors
  • CPU-bound vs. I/O-bound tasks

What are processes and threads : 

  • In a computer program, a process is a self-contained execution environment that consists of code, data, and resources.
  • A thread is a lightweight process that can run concurrently with other threads within the same process.
  • Processes and threads are used to execute multiple tasks simultaneously.

processes Vs  threads :

  • Processes are independent, meaning they do not share memory or resources with other processes. Threads, on the other hand, share memory and resources with other threads within the same process.
  • Processes are heavier and take more time to start and stop compared to threads.
  • Each process has its own copy of the data segment and heap, while all threads share the same heap.
  • Processes are more secure since each process has its own memory space and resources, while threads cannot defend against mishandling of a shared resource.
  • Communication between processes is slower compared to communication between threads.
  • Processes are immune to each other's failures while threads in the same process can crash one another. 

Single-core processors :

  • In a single-core processor, only one task can be executed at a time.
  • This means that processes and threads will be executed sequentially rather than in parallel.

Multicore processors :

  • In a multicore processor, multiple tasks can be executed simultaneously.
  • This means that processes and threads can be executed in parallel, improving overall system performance.

CPU-bound vs. I/O-bound tasks :

  • CPU-bound tasks are those that require a lot of processor time, such as 
    • high-computational calculations or 
    • data processing.
  • I/O-bound tasks are those that require more input/output operations, such as reading from or writing to a disk or network.
  • The type of task being performed can determine whether using processes or threads is more efficient.

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