Multithreading and multiprocessing in python geeksforgeeks

One aspect of coding in Python that we have yet to discuss in any great detail is how to optimise the execution performance of our simulations. While NumPy, SciPy and pandas are extremely useful in this regard when considering vectorised code, we aren't able to use these tools effectively when building event-driven systems.

Are there any other means available to us to speed up our code? The answer is yes - but with caveats! In this article we are going to look at the different models of parallelism that can be introduced into our Python programs. These models work particularly well for simulations that do not need to share state.

Monte Carlo simulations used for options pricing and backtesting simulations of various parameters for algorithmic trading fall into this category.

In particular we are going to consider the Threading library and the Multiprocessing library. One of the most frequently asked questions from beginning Python programmers when they explore multithreaded code for optimisation of CPU-bound code is "Why does my program run slower when I use multiple threads? The expectation is that on a multi-core machine a multithreaded code should make use of these extra cores and thus increase overall performance.

multithreading and multiprocessing in python geeksforgeeks

Unfortunately the internals of the main Python interpreter, CPythonnegate the possibility of true multi-threading due to a process known as the Global Interpreter Lock GIL. The GIL is necessary because the Python interpreter is not thread safe. This means that there is a globally enforced lock when trying to safely access Python objects from within threads. Because of this lock CPU-bound code will see no gain in performance when using the Threading library, but it will likely gain performance increases if the Multiprocessing library is used.

We are now going to utilise the above two separate libraries to attempt a parallel optimisation of a "toy" problem. Above we alluded to the fact that Python on the CPython interpreter does not support true multi-core execution via multithreading. So what is the benefit of using the library if we supposedly cannot make use of multiple cores? This means that the Python interpreter is awaiting the result of a function call that is manipulating data from a "remote" source such as a network address or hard disk.

Such access is far slower than reading from local memory or a CPU-cache. Hence, one means of speeding up such code if many data sources are being accessed is to generate a thread for each data item needing to be accessed. For example, consider a Python code that is scraping many web URLs. By adding a new thread for each download resource, the code can download multiple data sources in parallel and combine the results at the end of every download.

This means that each subsequent download is not waiting on the download of earlier web pages. They often involve large-scale numerical linear algebra solutions or random statistical draws, such as in Monte Carlo simulations.

Thus as far as Python and the GIL are concerned, there is no benefit to using the Python Threading library for such tasks. The following code illustrates a multithreaded implementation for a "toy" code that sequentially adds numbers to lists. Each thread creates a new list and adds random numbers to it.Client is message sender and receiver and server is just a listener that works on data sent by client. What is a Thread? A thread is a light-weight process that does not require much memory overhead, they are cheaper than processes.

What is Multi-threading Socket Programming? Multithreading is a process of executing multiple threads simultaneously in a single process. It has two basic methods acquire and release. The function thread. The first argument is the function to call and its second argument is a tuple containing the positional list of arguments.

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Multiprocessing in Python: Introduction (Part 1)

Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above. Attention geek! Strengthen your foundations with the Python Programming Foundation Course and learn the basics.

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Multiprocessing vs. Threading in Python: What Every Data Scientist Needs to Know

Please use ide. Related Articles. Start a new thread and return its identifier. Import socket module. Define the port on which you want to connect. Recommended Articles. Article Contributed By :. Current difficulty : Medium.

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We use cookies to ensure you have the best browsing experience on our website.In this article, we will learn the what, why, and how of multithreading and multiprocessing in Python. Before we dive into the code, let us understand what these terms mean. Note: Below is the structure of our program, which will be common across all the six parts.

This execution takes a total of 20 seconds, as each function execution takes 10 seconds to complete. Note that, it is the same MainProcess that calls our function twice, one after the other, using its default thread, MainThread. The threads Thread-1 and Thread-2 are started by our MainProcess, each of which calls our function, at almost the same time. Both the threads complete their job of sleeping for 10 seconds, concurrently.

Hence, multithreading is the go-to solution for executing tasks wherein the idle time of our CPU can be utilized to perform other tasks. Hence, saving time by making use of the wait time. Our CPU is asked to do the countdown at each function call, which roughly takes around 12 seconds this number might differ on your machine.


Hence, the execution of the whole program took me about 26 seconds to complete. Note that it is once again our MainProcess calling the function twice, one after the other, in its default thread, MainThread.

Okay, we just proved that threading worked amazingly well for multiple IO-bound tasks. Well, it did kick off our threads at the same time initially, but in the end, we see that the whole program execution took about a whopping 40 seconds!

What just happened? Hence, Thread-2 had to wait for Thread-1 to finish its task and release the lock so that it can acquire the lock and perform its task. This acquisition and release of the lock added overhead to the total execution time. Therefore, we can safely say that threading is not an ideal solution for tasks that requires CPU to work on something.

Multiprocessing is the answer.

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Here the MainProcess spins up two subprocesses, having different PIDs, each of which does the job of decreasing the number to zero. Each process runs in parallel, making use of separate CPU core and its own instance of the Python interpreter, therefore the whole program execution took only 12 seconds. Note that the output might be printed in unordered fashion as the processes are independent of each other.

Each process executes the function in its own default thread, MainThread. Open your Task Manager during the execution of your program. You can see 3 instances of the Python interpreter, one each for MainProcess, Process-1, and Process Now that we got a fair idea about multiprocessing helping us achieve parallelism, we shall try to use this technique for running our IO-bound tasks. We do observe that the results are extraordinary, just as in the case of multithreading.

But the creation of processes itself is a CPU heavy task and requires more time than the creation of threads. Also, processes require more resources than threads. Hence, it is always better to have multiprocessing as the second option for IO-bound tasks, with multithreading being the first. Well, that was quite a ride. We saw six different approaches to perform a task, that roughly took about 10 seconds, based on whether the task is light or heavy on the CPU.

Bottomline: Multithreading for IO-bound tasks. Multiprocessing for CPU-bound tasks. Attention geek! Strengthen your foundations with the Python Programming Foundation Course and learn the basics. Writing code in comment? Please use ide. Related Articles.Multiprocessing : Multiprocessing is a system that has two or more than one processors. In this, CPUs are added for increasing computing speed of the system.

Because of Multiprocessing, there are many processes that are executed simultaneously. Multiprocessing are further classified into two categories: Symmetric Multiprocessing, Asymmetric Multiprocessing.

Multi-programming : Multi-programming is more than one process running at a time, it increases CPU utilization by organizing jobs code and data so that the CPU always has one to execute.

The motive is to keep multiple jobs in main memory. Attention reader! Writing code in comment? Please use ide. Related Articles.

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We use cookies to ensure you have the best browsing experience on our website. The availability of more than one processor per system, that can execute several set of instructions in parallel is known as multiprocessing. The concurrent application of more than one program in the main memory is known as multiprogramming.This article is a brief yet concise introduction to multiprocessing in Python programming language.

Multiprocessing refers to the ability of a system to support more than one processor at the same time.

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Applications in a multiprocessing system are broken to smaller routines that run independently. The operating system allocates these threads to the processors improving performance of the system. Consider a computer system with a single processor. If it is assigned several processes at the same time, it will have to interrupt each task and switch briefly to another, to keep all of the processes going. This situation is just like a chef working in a kitchen alone. He has to do several tasks like baking, stirring, kneading dough, etc.

So the gist is that: The more tasks you must do at once, the more difficult it gets to keep track of them all, and keeping the timing right becomes more of a challenge. This is where the concept of multiprocessing arises! A multiprocessing system can have:. It is just like the chef in last situation being assisted by his assistants. In Python, the multiprocessing module includes a very simple and intuitive API for dividing work between multiple processes.

Let us consider a simple example using multiprocessing module:. Note: Process constructor takes many other arguments also which will be discussed later. In above example, we created 2 processes with different target functions:. As a result, the current program will first wait for the completion of p1 and then p2.

Once, they are completed, the next statements of current program are executed. Let us consider another program to understand the concept of different processes running on same python script. In this example below, we print the ID of the processes running the target functions:. Notice that it matches with the process IDs of p1 and p2 which we obtain using pid attribute of Process class.Join Stack Overflow to learn, share knowledge, and build your career.

Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. I am trying to understand the advantages of multiprocessing over threading.

I know that multiprocessing gets around the Global Interpreter Lock, but what other advantages are there, and can threading not do the same thing? The threading module uses threads, the multiprocessing module uses processes. The difference is that threads run in the same memory space, while processes have separate memory. This makes it a bit harder to share objects between processes with multiprocessing. Since threads use the same memory, precautions have to be taken or two threads will write to the same memory at the same time.

This is what the global interpreter lock is for. Threading's job is to enable applications to be responsive. Suppose you have a database connection and you need to respond to user input. Without threading, if the database connection is busy the application will not be able to respond to the user. By splitting off the database connection into a separate thread you can make the application more responsive. Also because both threads are in the same process, they can access the same data structures - good performance, plus a flexible software design.

Note that due to the GIL the app isn't actually doing two things at once, but what we've done is put the resource lock on the database into a separate thread so that CPU time can be switched between it and the user interaction.

CPU time gets rationed out between the threads. Multiprocessing is for times when you really do want more than one thing to be done at any given time. Suppose your application needs to connect to 6 databases and perform a complex matrix transformation on each dataset.

Putting each job in a separate thread might help a little because when one connection is idle another one could get some CPU time, but the processing would not be done in parallel because the GIL means that you're only ever using the resources of one CPU. By putting each job in a Multiprocessing process, each can run on it's own CPU and run at full efficiency. The canonical version of this answer is now at the dupliquee question: What are the differences between the threading and multiprocessing modules?

The work supplied per thread is always the same, such that more threads means more total work supplied. Plot data. Tested on Ubuntu Thread and the same for multiprocessing. This allows us to view exactly which thread runs at each time. When this is done, we would see something like I made this particular graph up :. The key advantage is isolation. A crashing process won't bring down other processes, whereas a crashing thread will probably wreak havoc with other threads.

Another thing not mentioned is that it depends on what OS you are using where speed is concerned. In Windows processes are costly so threads would be better in windows but in unix processes are faster than their windows variants so using processes in unix is much safer plus quick to spawn.Sooner or later, every data science project faces an inevitable challenge: speed.

Working with larger data sets leads to slower processing thereof, so you'll eventually have to think about optimizing your algorithm's run time. As most of you already know, parallelization is a necessary step of this optimization.

Python offers two built-in libraries for parallelization: multiprocessing and threading. In this article, we'll explore how data scientists can go about choosing between the two and which factors should be kept in mind while doing so.

As you all know, data science is the science of dealing with large amounts of data and extracting useful insights from them. More often than not, the operations we perform on the data are easily parallelizable, meaning that different processing agents can run the operation on the data one piece at a time, then combine the results at the end to get the complete result.

To better visualize parallelizability, let's consider a real world analogy. Suppose you need to clean three rooms in your home. You can either do it all by yourself, cleaning the rooms one after the other, or you can ask your two siblings to help you out, with each of you cleaning a single room.

In the latter approach, each of you are working parallely on a part of the whole task, thus reducing the total time required to complete it. This is parallelizability in action. Parallel processing can be achieved in Python in two different ways: multiprocessing and threading. Fundamentally, multiprocessing and threading are two ways to achieve parallel computing, using processes and threads, respectively, as the processing agents.

To understand how these work, we have to clarify what processes and threads are. A process is an instance of a computer program being executed.

multithreading and multiprocessing in python geeksforgeeks

Each process has its own memory space it uses to store the instructions being run, as well as any data it needs to store and access to execute. Threads are components of a process, which can run parallely. There can be multiple threads in a process, and they share the same memory space, i. This would mean the code to be executed as well as all the variables declared in the program would be shared by all threads. For example, let us consider the programs being run on your computer right now.

You might also be listening to music through the Spotify desktop app at the same time. The browser and the Spotify application are different processes; each of them can use multiple processes or threads to achieve parallelism.

Different tabs in your browser might be run in different threads. Spotify can play music in one thread, download music from the internet in another, and use a third to display the GUI. This would be called multithreading.

multithreading and multiprocessing in python geeksforgeeks

The same can be done with multiprocessing—multiple processes—too. In fact, most modern browsers like Chrome and Firefox use multiprocessing, not multithreading, to handle multiple tabs.

All the threads of a process live in the same memory space, whereas processes have their separate memory space. Threads are more lightweight and have lower overhead compared to processes. Spawning processes is a bit slower than spawning threads. Sharing objects between threads is easier, as they share the same memory space. To achieve the same between process, we have to use some kind of IPC inter-process communication model, typically provided by the OS.

Introducing parallelism to a program is not always a positive-sum game; there are some pitfalls to be aware of. The most important ones are as follows. When it comes to Python, there are some oddities to keep in mind.

In CPython, the global interpreter lockor GILis a mutex that protects access to Python objects, preventing multiple threads from executing Python bytecodes at once.

This lock is necessary mainly because CPython's memory management is not thread-safe.

multithreading and multiprocessing in python geeksforgeeks

Check the slides here for a more detailed look at the Python GIL.

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