Threads

Spawn a short-lived thread

crossbeam-badge cat-concurrency-badge

The example uses the crossbeam crate, which provides data structures and functions for concurrent and parallel programming. Scope::spawn spawns a new scoped thread that is guaranteed to terminate before returning from the closure that passed into crossbeam::scope function, meaning that you can reference data from the calling function.

This example splits the array in half and performs the work in separate threads.

fn main() {
    let arr = &[1, 25, -4, 10];
    let max = find_max(arr);
    assert_eq!(max, Some(25));
}

fn find_max(arr: &[i32]) -> Option<i32> {
    const THRESHOLD: usize = 2;
  
    if arr.len() <= THRESHOLD {
        return arr.iter().cloned().max();
    }

    let mid = arr.len() / 2;
    let (left, right) = arr.split_at(mid);
  
    crossbeam::scope(|s| {
        let thread_l = s.spawn(|_| find_max(left));
        let thread_r = s.spawn(|_| find_max(right));
  
        let max_l = thread_l.join().unwrap()?;
        let max_r = thread_r.join().unwrap()?;
  
        Some(max_l.max(max_r))
    }).unwrap()
}

Create a parallel pipeline

crossbeam-badge cat-concurrency-badge

This example uses the crossbeam and crossbeam-channel crates to create a parallel pipline, similar to that described in the ZeroMQ guide There is a data source and a data sink, with data being processed by two worker threads in parallel on its way from the source to the sink.

We use bounded channels with a capacity of one using crossbeam_channel::bounded. The producer must be on its own thread because it produces messages faster than the workers can process them (since they sleep for half a second) - this means the producer blocks on the call to [crossbeam_channel::Sender::send] for half a second until one of the workers processes the data in the channel. Also note that the data in the channel is consumed by whichever worker calls receive first, so each message is delivered to a single worker rather than both workers.

Reading from the channels via the iterator crossbeam_channel::Receiver::iter method will block, either waiting for new messages or until the channel is closed. Because the channels were created within the crossbeam::scope, we must manually close them via drop to prevent the entire program from blocking on the worker for-loops. You can think of the calls to drop as signaling that no more messages will be sent.

extern crate crossbeam;
extern crate crossbeam_channel;

use std::thread;
use std::time::Duration;
use crossbeam_channel::bounded;

fn main() {
    let (snd1, rcv1) = bounded(1);
    let (snd2, rcv2) = bounded(1);
    let n_msgs = 4;
    let n_workers = 2;

    crossbeam::scope(|s| {
        // Producer thread
        s.spawn(|_| {
            for i in 0..n_msgs {
                snd1.send(i).unwrap();
                println!("Source sent {}", i);
            }
            // Close the channel - this is necessary to exit
            // the for-loop in the worker
            drop(snd1);
        });

        // Parallel processing by 2 threads
        for _ in 0..n_workers {
            // Send to sink, receive from source
            let (sendr, recvr) = (snd2.clone(), rcv1.clone());
            // Spawn workers in separate threads
            s.spawn(move |_| {
            thread::sleep(Duration::from_millis(500));
                // Receive until channel closes
                for msg in recvr.iter() {
                    println!("Worker {:?} received {}.",
                             thread::current().id(), msg);
                    sendr.send(msg * 2).unwrap();
                }
            });
        }
        // Close the channel, otherwise sink will never
        // exit the for-loop
        drop(snd2);

        // Sink
        for msg in rcv2.iter() {
            println!("Sink received {}", msg);
        }
    }).unwrap();
}

Pass data between two threads

crossbeam-badge cat-concurrency-badge

This example demonstrates the use of crossbeam-channel in a single producer, single consumer (SPSC) setting. We build off the ex-crossbeam-spawn example by using crossbeam::scope and Scope::spawn to manage the producer thread. Data is exchanged between the two threads using a crossbeam_channel::unbounded channel, meaning there is no limit to the number of storeable messages. The producer thread sleeps for half a second in between messages.


use std::{thread, time};
use crossbeam_channel::unbounded;

fn main() {
    let (snd, rcv) = unbounded();
    let n_msgs = 5;
    crossbeam::scope(|s| {
        s.spawn(|_| {
            for i in 0..n_msgs {
                snd.send(i).unwrap();
                thread::sleep(time::Duration::from_millis(100));
            }
        });
    }).unwrap();
    for _ in 0..n_msgs {
        let msg = rcv.recv().unwrap();
        println!("Received {}", msg);
    }
}

Maintain global mutable state

lazy_static-badge cat-rust-patterns-badge

Declare global state using lazy_static. lazy_static creates a globally available static ref which requires a Mutex to allow mutation (also see RwLock). The Mutex wrap ensures the state cannot be simultaneously accessed by multiple threads, preventing race conditions. A MutexGuard must be acquired to read or mutate the value stored in a Mutex.

use error_chain::error_chain;
use lazy_static::lazy_static;
use std::sync::Mutex;

error_chain!{ }

lazy_static! {
    static ref FRUIT: Mutex<Vec<String>> = Mutex::new(Vec::new());
}

fn insert(fruit: &str) -> Result<()> {
    let mut db = FRUIT.lock().map_err(|_| "Failed to acquire MutexGuard")?;
    db.push(fruit.to_string());
    Ok(())
}

fn main() -> Result<()> {
    insert("apple")?;
    insert("orange")?;
    insert("peach")?;
    {
        let db = FRUIT.lock().map_err(|_| "Failed to acquire MutexGuard")?;

        db.iter().enumerate().for_each(|(i, item)| println!("{}: {}", i, item));
    }
    insert("grape")?;
    Ok(())
}

Calculate SHA256 sum of iso files concurrently

threadpool-badge num_cpus-badge walkdir-badge ring-badge cat-concurrency-badgecat-filesystem-badge

This example calculates the SHA256 for every file with iso extension in the current directory. A threadpool generates threads equal to the number of cores present in the system found with num_cpus::get. Walkdir::new iterates the current directory and calls execute to perform the operations of reading and computing SHA256 hash.


use walkdir::WalkDir;
use std::fs::File;
use std::io::{BufReader, Read, Error};
use std::path::Path;
use threadpool::ThreadPool;
use std::sync::mpsc::channel;
use ring::digest::{Context, Digest, SHA256};

// Verify the iso extension
fn is_iso(entry: &Path) -> bool {
    match entry.extension() {
        Some(e) if e.to_string_lossy().to_lowercase() == "iso" => true,
        _ => false,
    }
}

fn compute_digest<P: AsRef<Path>>(filepath: P) -> Result<(Digest, P), Error> {
    let mut buf_reader = BufReader::new(File::open(&filepath)?);
    let mut context = Context::new(&SHA256);
    let mut buffer = [0; 1024];

    loop {
        let count = buf_reader.read(&mut buffer)?;
        if count == 0 {
            break;
        }
        context.update(&buffer[..count]);
    }

    Ok((context.finish(), filepath))
}

fn main() -> Result<(), Error> {
    let pool = ThreadPool::new(num_cpus::get());

    let (tx, rx) = channel();

    for entry in WalkDir::new("/home/user/Downloads")
        .follow_links(true)
        .into_iter()
        .filter_map(|e| e.ok())
        .filter(|e| !e.path().is_dir() && is_iso(e.path())) {
            let path = entry.path().to_owned();
            let tx = tx.clone();
            pool.execute(move || {
                let digest = compute_digest(path);
                tx.send(digest).expect("Could not send data!");
            });
        }

    drop(tx);
    for t in rx.iter() {
        let (sha, path) = t?;
        println!("{:?} {:?}", sha, path);
    }
    Ok(())
}

Draw fractal dispatching work to a thread pool

threadpool-badge num-badge num_cpus-badge image-badge cat-concurrency-badgecat-science-badgecat-rendering-badge

This example generates an image by drawing a fractal from the Julia set with a thread pool for distributed computation.

Allocate memory for output image of given width and height with ImageBuffer::new. Rgb::from_channels calculates RGB pixel values. Create ThreadPool with thread count equal to number of cores with num_cpus::get. ThreadPool::execute receives each pixel as a separate job.

mpsc::channel receives the jobs and Receiver::recv retrieves them. ImageBuffer::put_pixel uses the data to set the pixel color. ImageBuffer::save writes the image to output.png.

use error_chain::error_chain;
use std::sync::mpsc::{channel, RecvError};
use threadpool::ThreadPool;
use num::complex::Complex;
use image::{ImageBuffer, Pixel, Rgb};

error_chain! {
    foreign_links {
        MpscRecv(RecvError);
        Io(std::io::Error);
    }
}

// Function converting intensity values to RGB
// Based on http://www.efg2.com/Lab/ScienceAndEngineering/Spectra.htm
fn wavelength_to_rgb(wavelength: u32) -> Rgb<u8> {
    let wave = wavelength as f32;

    let (r, g, b) = match wavelength {
        380..=439 => ((440. - wave) / (440. - 380.), 0.0, 1.0),
        440..=489 => (0.0, (wave - 440.) / (490. - 440.), 1.0),
        490..=509 => (0.0, 1.0, (510. - wave) / (510. - 490.)),
        510..=579 => ((wave - 510.) / (580. - 510.), 1.0, 0.0),
        580..=644 => (1.0, (645. - wave) / (645. - 580.), 0.0),
        645..=780 => (1.0, 0.0, 0.0),
        _ => (0.0, 0.0, 0.0),
    };

    let factor = match wavelength {
        380..=419 => 0.3 + 0.7 * (wave - 380.) / (420. - 380.),
        701..=780 => 0.3 + 0.7 * (780. - wave) / (780. - 700.),
        _ => 1.0,
    };

    let (r, g, b) = (normalize(r, factor), normalize(g, factor), normalize(b, factor));
    Rgb::from_channels(r, g, b, 0)
}

// Maps Julia set distance estimation to intensity values
fn julia(c: Complex<f32>, x: u32, y: u32, width: u32, height: u32, max_iter: u32) -> u32 {
    let width = width as f32;
    let height = height as f32;

    let mut z = Complex {
        // scale and translate the point to image coordinates
        re: 3.0 * (x as f32 - 0.5 * width) / width,
        im: 2.0 * (y as f32 - 0.5 * height) / height,
    };

    let mut i = 0;
    for t in 0..max_iter {
        if z.norm() >= 2.0 {
            break;
        }
        z = z * z + c;
        i = t;
    }
    i
}

// Normalizes color intensity values within RGB range
fn normalize(color: f32, factor: f32) -> u8 {
    ((color * factor).powf(0.8) * 255.) as u8
}

fn main() -> Result<()> {
    let (width, height) = (1920, 1080);
    let mut img = ImageBuffer::new(width, height);
    let iterations = 300;

    let c = Complex::new(-0.8, 0.156);

    let pool = ThreadPool::new(num_cpus::get());
    let (tx, rx) = channel();

    for y in 0..height {
        let tx = tx.clone();
        pool.execute(move || for x in 0..width {
                         let i = julia(c, x, y, width, height, iterations);
                         let pixel = wavelength_to_rgb(380 + i * 400 / iterations);
                         tx.send((x, y, pixel)).expect("Could not send data!");
                     });
    }

    for _ in 0..(width * height) {
        let (x, y, pixel) = rx.recv()?;
        img.put_pixel(x, y, pixel);
    }
    let _ = img.save("output.png")?;
    Ok(())
}