Multithreading in Java

Multithreading is a programming technique that allows multiple threads to run concurrently within a single process. In Java, multithreading is achieved using the Thread class and the Runnable interface.

  1. Thread Class:The Thread class is a built-in class in Java that represents a thread of execution. To create a new thread, you can either extend the Thread class or implement the Runnable interface. Once a thread is created, it can be started by calling the start() method.

  2. Runnable Interface:The Runnable interface is a functional interface that contains only one method: run(). To create a new thread using the Runnable interface, you need to create a class that implements the Runnable interface and override the run() method.

  3. Synchronization:Synchronization is used to prevent multiple threads from accessing the same resource at the same time. In Java, you can synchronize methods and blocks of code using the synchronized keyword. This ensures that only one thread can access the synchronized code at a time.

  4. Thread States:In Java, a thread can be in one of the following states:

  1. New: The thread has been created but has not yet started.
  2. Runnable: The thread is running or is ready to run.
  3. Blocked: The thread is waiting for a monitor lock to be released.
  4. Waiting: The thread is waiting for another thread to perform a certain action.
  5. Timed Waiting: The thread is waiting for a certain period of time before continuing.
  6. Terminated: The thread has completed execution.

  1. Thread Priorities:Thread priorities are used to specify the relative importance of threads. In Java, you can set the priority of a thread using the setPriority() method of the Thread class. Thread priorities range from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest priority and 10 being the highest priority.

  2. Thread Groups:Thread groups are used to group related threads together. In Java, you can create a new thread group using the ThreadGroup class. Once a thread group is created, you can add threads to it using the ThreadGroup.add() method.

  3. Daemon Threads:Daemon threads are threads that run in the background and do not prevent the program from exiting. In Java, you can set a thread to be a daemon thread using the setDaemon() method of the Thread class.

Multithreading is a powerful programming technique that can greatly improve the performance and responsiveness of your Java applications. However, it also introduces additional complexity and requires careful management to avoid issues such as deadlocks and race conditions.

Here's an example that demonstrates multithreading in Java using the Thread class:

class MyThread extends Thread {
    public void run() {
        for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
            System.out.println("Thread " + Thread.currentThread().getId() + " running");

public class MultithreadingExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        MyThread thread1 = new MyThread();
        MyThread thread2 = new MyThread();

In this example, we define a class MyThread that extends the Thread class. The run() method of MyThread simply prints out a message 10 times, indicating which thread is running.

In the main() method of our MultithreadingExample class, we create two instances of MyThread and start them using the start() method. When a thread is started, its run() method is executed in a separate thread of execution.

When we run this program, we should see output similar to the following:

Thread 12 running
Thread 11 running
Thread 12 running
Thread 11 running
Thread 12 running
Thread 11 running
Thread 12 running
Thread 11 running
Thread 12 running
Thread 11 running

Note that the order in which the threads run is not deterministic - it may vary each time the program is executed. This is because the two threads are running concurrently and the operating system schedules them as it sees fit.

Here are some real-world examples where multithreading can be useful:

  1. Web Server:A web server receives and processes multiple requests from clients concurrently. Multithreading can be used to handle each request in a separate thread, so that the server can handle multiple requests at the same time and improve its performance and responsiveness.

  2. Video Streaming:When streaming a video, the data needs to be continuously downloaded and displayed on the user's screen. By using multithreading, the application can download and display different parts of the video in separate threads, allowing for smoother playback and reducing buffering delays.

  3. Gaming:In a game, multiple actions may be happening at once, such as player movement, enemy movement, and collision detection. By using multithreading, the game engine can run each of these actions in a separate thread, improving the game's performance and responsiveness.

  4. Image Processing:When processing large images, it can take a long time to perform operations like resizing or filtering. By using multithreading, the application can split the image into smaller parts and process each part in a separate thread, speeding up the overall processing time.

  5. Database Queries:When querying a database, multiple queries can be executed concurrently in separate threads, improving the overall performance of the application.

These are just a few examples of how multithreading can be used in real-world applications to improve performance and responsiveness.