semaphore in java 8 print odd and even number using semaphore

Print Even-Odd series with semaphores

We have already solved this problem in this blog with the use of synchronized, wait() and notify(). Let’s solve this with semaphores. But before diving in, lets understand what actually is a semaphore.


By definition, a semaphore is simply a variable that is non-negative and shared between threads. A semaphore is a signalling mechanism, and a thread that is waiting on a semaphore can be signalled by another thread. More about semaphores is found here.

Approach to the problem

Here we use semaphores to achieve the thread synchronization. While thread one prints odd number, thread two should wait and vice-versa. This will go until the loop ends.

We don’t have a isTurn variable to decide which thread should print the number like in this blog instead we have two semaphores — odd and even.

Conceptually, semaphore maintains a set of permits. Here, we are giving the odd thread a kick start by giving it a permit.

Now, we need to understand what are acquire() and release() method in Semaphore.

acquire() method blocks if a permit is not available, else it allows by reducing the available permits by one. 

release() method adds a permit to the semaphore.

Here, when odd semaphore calls acquire() method, since it already have a permit, the thread will not be blocked and prints the odd number.

At same time, when even thread calls acquire() method, it will be blocked as it doesn’t have any permit. When, odd thread finishes printing, it will add a permit to even semaphore which will give access to even thread to print.

After even thread finishes printing, it will give access to odd thread and the same continues till the end of loop.

The output will look like this.

multithreading even odd printing examples

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