C++ || Multi Process Server & Client Hash Table Using Thread Pools, Message Queues, & Signal Handlers

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The following is another homework assignment which was presented in an Operating Systems Concepts class. Using commandline arguments, the following is a program which implements a multi threaded hash table, utilizing message queues to pass text from a client program to a server program and vice versa. This program makes use of multiple interprocess communication function calls provided on Unix based systems.


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Sample Input Server Records File - Download Here

==== 1. OVERVIEW ====

Hash tables are widely used for efficient storage and retrieval of data. When using hash tables in multi threaded applications, you must ensure that concurrent accesses into the hash table is free from race conditions, dead locks, and other problems that arise in program synchronization.

One solution to overcome this problem is to prevent concurrent accesses into the hash table altogether; i.e. prior to accessing the hash table, a thread acquires a lock, and then releases the lock after the access is complete. Such approach, although simple, is inefficient. The program demonstrated on this page implements an alternative solution, one which permits safe concurrent accesses into the hash table. In the approach implemented on this page, each hash location within a hash table is protected with a separate lock. Hence, multiple threads access the hash table concurrently as long as they are accessing different hash locations. For greater efficiency, this program also makes use of a thread pool.


This program was implemented in two parts; a server program and a client program. The server side of the program maintains a hash table of records and a pool of threads. The client program requests from the server program search records by sending record ids over a message queue. The server program then retrieves a request from the message queue, and wakes up a thread in the thread pool. That awakened thread then uses the id (sent from the client program) to retrieve the corresponding record from the hash table, and sends the found record from the server program to the client program over the message queue.

The server also reads a specified file from the commandline, which stores initial user data that is to be inserted and stored into the hash table. The incoming text file has the following format:

a unique numerical id 1 (an integer)
the first name 1 (a string)
the last name 1 (a string)
a unique numerical id N (an integer)
the first name N (a string)
the last name N (a string)

These three fields make up one single record for one individual. More than one record may be present in the incoming text file.

==== 3. SERVER ====

The server has the following structure and function:

Spoiler Inside: Multi Threaded Process Server Flow Control SelectShow

The server program is invoked with the following commandline structure:

./Server [FILE NAME] [NUMBER OF THREADS] (e.g. ./Server database.dat 10)

The server is implemented below.

The client program has a much easier flow of control. It is implemented below.

==== 4. CLIENT ====

The client has the following structure and function:

Spoiler Inside: Multi Threaded Process Client Flow Control SelectShow

The client program was designed to sleep for 1 second every time a new record is obtained from the server. This makes it so its easier for the user to see what is being displayed on the screen.

The client program is invoked with the following commandline structure:


The client is implemented below.

The highlighted lines are sections of interest to look out for.

The code is heavily commented, so no further insight is necessary. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

See sample files named server.cpp and client.cpp which illustrate interprocess communications using message queues. See file condvar.cpp which illustrates the use of condition variables. Finally, see file signal.cpp which illustrates the overriding of default signal handlers.

The following is sample output:
(Note: remember to include the initial records input file!)


./Server INPUT_Records_programmingnotes_freeweq_com.txt 26



Caught the CTRL-C
Shutting down the server connection..




ID = 243 Record = Graham Basil
ID = 7943 Record = Tobias Arie
ID = 3607 Record = Claire Amina
ID = 849 Record = Jetta Victoria
ID = 126 Record = Jeramy Tod
ID = 7483 Record = Vivan Krystal
ID = 8036 Record = Lilliam Harley
ID = 1901 Record = Kati Basil
ID = 3524 Record = Kenneth Perkins
ID = 5256 Record = Jodee Albertina
ID = 7065 Record = Marylou Donn
ID = 3951 Record = Ula Domitila
ID = 395 Record = Jaime Lilliam
ID = 9234 Record = Nigel Gene
ID = 4148 Record = Carmella Evelia
ID = 9340 Record = Sang Cherilyn
ID = 3834 Record = Jessica Freddy


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