Shared Variable in pthread

#include<iostream>
#include<pthread.h>
#include<chrono>

struct Arg1{
    int x,y;
};
void * process(void * threadarg){
    int x,y;
    Arg1 * myArg1;
    myArg1 = (Arg1 *) threadarg;
    x = myArg1->x;
    y=myArg1->y;
    int i=0;
    while(i<500){
        x+=1;
        y+=2;
        i++;
    }
    myArg1->x=x;
    myArg1->y=y;
    pthread_exit(NULL);
}
using namespace std;

int main(){
    int x = 0;
    int y = 0;
    int n;
    cin>>n;
    Arg1 sharedObj;
    sharedObj.x=x;
    sharedObj.y=y;
    auto start = chrono::high_resolution_clock::now();
    pthread_t *threads = new pthread_t[n];
    for(int i=0;i<n;++i){
        pthread_create(&threads[i],NULL,process,(void *)&sharedObj);
    }
    for(int i=0;i<n;++i){
        pthread_join(threads[i],NULL);
    }

    cout<<sharedObj.x<<" "<<sharedObj.y<<"n";
    auto stop = chrono::high_resolution_clock::now();
    auto duration = chrono::duration_cast<chrono::microseconds>(stop-start);
    cout<<duration.count()<<"n";
}

I wrote this code to see if using shared variables cause problems in the result.

What it does is this- It first asks the user for number of threads n. Each thread increments shared variables x and y by 1 and 2 respectively. Variables are shared via the use of the same struct object. In the end I print the values of x and y from the struct object.

I saw that for a small while loop in the function process, I am able to get correct results, regardless the number of threads n. However, for large values, about 5000, I get wrong results sometimes.

Also, the time of execution increases with the number of threads, and I don’t understand whether this is because of improper multithreading or because of overhead in creating more number of threads.

Thanks for any help in advance.

Answer

Unless we use a mutex or some method to ensure atomicity of write, we can not guarantee that we would get a correct value in pthreaded applications. This is because, simultaneous writes can lead to a race condition, with only one of the write affecting the shared variable.