An Example of Raymond's Algorithm

Nathaniel Mar 06, 2018

Disclaimer: this post is a rework of this article. I made it more readable and fixed an error at the 5th step in the original article.

Initially, P0 holds the token. Also, P0 is the current root.

P3 wants the token to get into its critical section. So, P3 adds itself to its own FIFO queue and sends a request message to its parent P2.

P2 receives the request from P3. It adds P3 to its FIFO queue and passes the request message to its parent P1.

P1 receives the request from P2. It adds P3 to its FIFO queue and passes the request message to its parent P0.

At this point, P2 also wants the token. Since its FIFO queue is not empty, it adds itself to its own FIFO queue.

P0 receives the request message from P3 though P1. It surrenders the token and passes it on to P1. It also changes the direction of the arrow between them, making P1 the root, temporarily.

P1 removes the top element of its FIFO queue to see which node requested the token. Since the token needs to go to P3, P1 surrenders the token and passes it on to P2. It also changes the direction of the arrow between them, making P2 the root, temporarily.

P2 removes the top element of its FIFO queue to see which node requested the token. Since the token needs to go to P3, P2 surrenders the token and passes it on to P3. It also changes the direction of the arrow between them, making P3 the root.

Now, P3 holds the and can execute its critical section. It is able to clear the top (and only) element of its FIFO queue. Note that P3 is the current root. In the meantime, P2 checks the top element of its FIFO queue and realizes that it also needs to request the token. So, P2 sends a request message to its current parent, P3, who appends the request to its FIFO queue.

As soon as P3 completes its critical section, it checks the top element of its FIFO queue to see if it is needed elsewhere. In this case, P2 has requested it, so P3 sends it back to P2. It also changes the direction of the arrow between them, making P2 the new root.

P2 holds the token and is able to complete its critical section. Then it checks its FIFO queue, which is empty. So it waits until some other node requests the token.