High Concurrency

When facing high concurrency applications, we often find a number of generic problems. In this article I will focus on the problems of resources (CPU and memory). For now on, I will focus on the most typical and most direct solutions.

When we discover threads and the advantages of parallel processing it can happen that we end up abusing their use. We have a lot of threads (100 ¿? 1000?) simultaneously, and the processor will be jumping from one to another without stopping, not letting them finish, no matter how fast is their real excution. And over time there will be more and more threads only slowing down the process. To the cost of execution of each thread, we must consider also the added cost of creating and destroying threads. It can can become significant when we talk about so many threads at once.

High Concurrency with the Thread Pool Pattern
High Concurrency with the Thread Pool Pattern

Threads: the holy grail

In this case, the first method that we think of is the Thread Pool Pattern . This pattern will limit the number of threads running at the same time.
Instead of creating new threads, we create tasks, which are piled. Also, we have a pool of threads that will work picking these up and running as soon as possible. A classic example of this thread can be found on SwingWorker. If we want to implement bare hands our own pattern, we should take a look at the interface ExecutorService.

If you have a background thread that is making heavy use of processor, but we do not mind slowing it down for performance, we can use the command sleep ( Thread.sleep (...)) to periodically release the thread processor, allowing other threads to run faster .

This is useful for threads running in maintenance mode, which must be kept running but do not have to respond in real time. Another way to temporarily stop a running thread while another is using the method join ( Thread.Join () ), which makes a thread wait until another thread ends. Although more useful if we have a clearly higher priority thread than another, it is not viable if we can not have a reference to a higher priority thread from the lowest priority to tell which thread has to wait.

High Concurrency issues

But the high turnout is not given only by the use of the processor. It may be that multiple threads need access to large amounts of information almost simultaneously. These threads will not only be repeating the information in memory but often will be repeating the entire process of extracting that information.

This problem is usually solved in the majority of data access libraries (mostly database). For example, we have ehcache , which uses threads to store information ( Thread-Specific Storage Pattern ). This way, access and storage of this information is shared. Thus decreasing both the memory usage required and the processor time required to extract and shape information. As the threads wants to process this information, they will be asking ehcache for the data, which will optimize these hits.

To improve this solution have the concurrent collections. This allow different threads to use the same objects without any problems of concurrency.

There are more solutions to improve the high turnout (without going into optimizations to the code itself). But those described here are usually good ideas to start.

Useful References:

Easy map on Java

Sometimes you don’t know where to start when you enter the world of GIS programming. Too many libraries, IDEs, but the truth is, everyone assumes you already have a base and everything become chaos. Something is easy as how to develop a map on Java has scarce documentation.

If you have absolutely no idea of GIS, I would recommend you start by the Free book of Free GIS by Victor Olaya.

For beginners I would recommend that you take a look at a fairly new project aimed at extending Swing (the default graphics java library) with geographical widgets. In this way, add a map to a Java desktop application would be a task as simple as adding a button or text field.

Of course, GIS applications have some complexity, a simple display like this is not enough. But it is a good starting point to get familiar with what a map is and what can a developer do.

We start with a Java project and add SwingX-WS to its dependencies. Then, the following code would show a window with a simple map:

es.emergya.gis.examples package;

import java.awt.BorderLayout;

public class  SwingWS {

  public static void main (String [] args) {
    Form = new JFrame JFrame ("Map");

    JXMapKit JXMapKit jXMapKit1 = new ();
    jXMapKit1.setDefaultProvider (org.jdesktop.swingx.JXMapKit.DefaultProviders.OpenStreetMaps);
    jXMapKit1.setDataProviderCreditShown (true);
    jXMapKit1.setName ("jXMapKit1") / / NOI18N
    jXMapKit1.setAddressLocation(new GeoPosition(41.881944, 39.627778));

    form.getContentPane().add(jXMapKit1, BorderLayout.CENTER);


The tiles of the maps drawn from OpenStreetMap , but is fully configurable for any WMS server.

So now you have your map on java.

Personalized Event Listeners in Java

Although the Observer pattern is implemented natively in Java, sometimes we need to make an event management that suits better our needs when using event listeners.

Some context

The problem of event handling is very simple: We have an object that will be changing its state. Without touching its code, we should be able to “hook” to other objects that are pending status changes and act accordingly. This “hook” must be turned on and off dynamically at runtime.

To implement it we will use a static object, a class and an interface. The static object will be responsible for ensuring the relationships between observers and observables. It will also notify relevant changes to the objects concerned. To pass information during an event we use that class. The interfaces will make the distinction between objects observed and observable objects and any other objects on the application.

A real example

But the best way to see how event listeners works is through an example:

The instances of the class will be those that carry MyCustomEvent information to an observable object from the observed object when an event occurs. This class should contain all the necessary information on that event. For example, if the event was a mouse click, this class should carry data such as coordinates on the screen or the number of clicks. Specifically, our event class contains only the original object that triggered the event (the observable object).

import java.util.EventObject;
import java.util.LinkedList;
import java.util.List;

public class MyCustomEvent extends EventObject {

  private static final long serialVersionUID = 7383182229898306240L;

  private final MyCustomListener source;

  public MyCustomEvent (MyCustomListener OriginalSource) {
    super (OriginalSource);
    this.source = OriginalSource;

 MyCustomListener public getSource () {
    this.source return;

The static object that keeps the relations between observers and observables is MyCustomEventHandler. It is very important to use synchronization methods to avoid concurrency issues in multithreaded applications:

import java.util.HashSet;
import java.util.LinkedHashMap;
import java.util.Map;
import java.util.Set;
import org.apache.commons.logging.Log;
import org.apache.commons.logging.LogFactory;

public class MyCustomEventHandler {
  private static final Log log = LogFactory.getLog(MyCustomEventHandler.class);

  private static Map <MyCustomListener, Set > = new LinkedHashMap observable <MyCustomListener, Set > ();

  public static void fire (MyCustomEvent event) {
    log.trace ("fire (" + event + ")");
    try {
      Observers = getRemarks September (source);
      if (Observers! = null) {
        for (final MyCustomListener pl: Observers) {
          try {
            pl.fire (event);
          } catch (Throwable t) {
            log.error (t, t);
    } catch (Throwable t) {
      log.error (t, t);

  private static synchronized September getRemarks (MyCustomListener source) {
    observables.get return (source);

/ **
* Register to watch to alert you when observable change
* @ Param observer
* @ Param observable
* /
  public static synchronized void register (MyCustomListener observer, MyCustomListener observable) {
    Observers getRemarks September = (observable);
    if (null == observers) {
      observers = new HashSet();
    observables.put(observable, Observers);

/ **
* Deregister not become observers to alert you when observable
* Modify
* @ Param observer
* @ Param observable
* /
  public static synchronized void deregister (MyCustomListener observer, MyCustomListener observable) {
    Observers getRemarks September = (observable);
    if (null == Observers) {
      Observers = new HashSet ();
    observers.remove (observer);
    observables.put (observable, Observers);

Both objects (observable objects as observers) must implement the interface MyCustomListener. This interface requires implementing the function fire(MyCustomEvent event) . In the observable, this function will be responsible for calling MyCustomEventHandler. For observers, this function will be called when the observed object launches an event.

Actually, it would be convenient to separate the interface into two: one for observers and another for observables. If an object wants to be both observer and observed, it may have problems with this system. But for simplicity for the example we have chosen this implementation.

import java.util.EventListener;

public interface extends EventListener {MyCustomListener
  public void fire (MyCustomEvent event);

If we have different types of events (similar to how the MouseListener), all we need to do is to expand MyCustomListener interface with all the functionality we want to have:

import java.util.EventListener;

public interface MyCustomListener extends EventListener {
  public void fireObjectRecycled (MyCustomEvent event);
  public void fireObjectRefreshed (MyCustomEvent event);
  public void fireObjectUpdated (MyCustomEvent event);

So, we might use different classes derived from MyCustomEvent for each of these features.

We have to modify the static object MyCustomEventHandler to launch the different events.

References: thread which discusses this type of implementation of Event Handler