Concurrent Collections

The java.util.concurrent package includes a number of additions to the Java Collections Framework. These are most easily categorized by the collection interfaces provided:

  • BlockingQueue defines a first-in-first-out data structure that blocks or times out when you attempt to add to a full queue, or retrieve from an empty queue.

  • ConcurrentMap is a subinterface of java.util.Map that defines useful atomic operations. These operations remove or replace a key-value pair only if the key is present, or add a key-value pair only if the key is absent. Making these operations atomic helps avoid synchronization. The standard general-purpose implementation of ConcurrentMap is ConcurrentHashMap, which is a concurrent analog of HashMap.

  • ConcurrentNavigableMap is a subinterface of ConcurrentMap that supports approximate matches. The standard general-purpose implementation of ConcurrentNavigableMap is ConcurrentSkipListMap, which is a concurrent analog of TreeMap.

All of these collections help avoid Memory Consistency Errors by defining a happens-before relationship between an operation that adds an object to the collection with subsequent operations that access or remove that object.