Project #2: Multithreaded Programming

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CSC 345 – Project #2: Multithreaded Programming
Practice multi-threaded programming and understand scheduling policy and locking mechanism.
Project Details:
In this project, you are asked to write a multithreaded application that does some laborious tasks
simultaneously. Your goal is to develop your application so that it can complete these tasks as
efficient as possible. You can assume that you have hardware capable of doing multiple tasks in
parallel. Details are described in attached pages, as well as in the textbook.
Program requirements (60 pts):
• [5 pts] The program should take input from input.txt, 81 numbers listed up in 9 rows like
6 2 4 5 3 9 1 8 7
5 1 9 7 2 8 6 3 4
2 8 5 4 7 3 9 1 6
Note that the numbers should be space separated. Your program should be able to read in
this information and print out the read board states correctly. The program also prints out
whether the board state is a solution or not. The result should print out in the following
$ ./main 1
BOARD STATE IN input.txt:
6 2 4 5 3 9 1 8 7
2 8 5 4 7 3 9 1 6
SOLUTION: YES (5.1234 seconds)
$ _
No other information should be printed. Of course, if the board state is not a solution, NO
should be printed instead of YES. Note that the program takes one input argument “1”
from the command line. This is required even if you did not implement the one below.
• [5 pts] Implement another way to setup threads as described in the attached description.
That is, rather than creating one thread that checks all nine columns, you could create
nine separate threads and have each of them check one column (27 threads). To
demonstrate this, your program should use the option “2” instead of “1”.
• [20 pts] Devise a statistical experiment that compares the two methods above. Your null
hypothesis is “There is no statistically significant difference between two methods.” For
example, run 50 independent runs, average out the total run time (would be great to print
out the run time, as shown above), and provide an analytical conclusion of your
experiments. Graphical plots describing the results would be expected.
• [20 pts] Implement yet another, multi-process way to validate the board. When the option
“3” is used, your program should create three child processes. Child process 1 will deal
with all rows, child process 2 will deal with all columns, and child process 3 will deal
with all sub-squares. Repeat the statistical experiments again comparing options “1” and
“3.” Your null hypothesis is again “There is no statistically significant difference between
two methods.”
• [10 pts] Repeat the statistical experiments again comparing options “2” and “3.” Your
null hypothesis is again “There is no statistically significant difference between two
Formatting Requirements
• Add comments to your code (using /* */)
• In a separate, single PDF document, clearly describe which requirements you
• Your source and executable should be named main. Other names will be penalized for
formatting violation. When the zip file was extracted, it should look like following:
./ // your zip submission
./project2 // extracted subdirectory inside your zip file
|- main.c // source file
|- Makefile // make script (case sensitive!)
|- input.txt // input Sudoku board state (81 numbers in 9 rows)
|- discussion.pdf // your log with partner
|- report.pdf // your description of implementation and
experimental results
What to turn in
• Zip the folder containing your source file(s) and Makefile, then submit it through Canvas
by the deadline. There will be a penalty for not providing any working Makefile.
Task Description Details
Sudoku Solution Validator
A Sudoku puzzle uses a 9 × 9 grid in which each column and row, as well as each of the
nine 3 × 3 subgrids, must contain all of the digits 1 ⋯ 9. Figure 4.26 presents an example
of a valid Sudoku puzzle. This project consists of designing a multithreaded application
that determines whether the solution to a Sudoku puzzle is valid.
Figure 4.26 Solution to a 9 × 9 Sudoku puzzle.
There are several different ways of multithreading this application. One suggested
strategy is to create threads that check the following criteria:
• One thread to check that each column contains the digits 1 through 9
• One thread to check that each row contains the digits 1 through 9
• Nine threads to check that each of the 3 × 3 sub-grids contains the digits 1
through 9
This would result in a total of eleven separate threads for validating a Sudoku puzzle.
However, you can also consider to create even more threads for this project. For
example, rather than creating one thread that checks all nine columns, you could create
nine separate threads and have each of them check one column. In this case, you will
need twenty seven threads.
I. Passing Parameters to Each Thread
The parent thread will create the worker threads, passing each worker the location that
it must check in the Sudoku grid. This step will require passing several parameters to
each thread. The easiest approach is to create a data structure using a struct. For
example, a structure to pass the row and column where a thread must begin validating
would appear as follows:
/* structure for passing data to threads */
typedef struct
int row;
int column;
} parameters;
Both Pthreads and Windows programs will create worker threads using a strategy
similar to that shown below:
parameters *data = (parameters *) malloc(sizeof(parameters));
data->row = 1;
data->column = 1;
/* Now create the thread passing it data as a parameter */
The data pointer will be passed to either the pthread create() (Pthreads) function or
the CreateThread() (Windows) function, which in turn will pass it as a parameter to the
function that is to run as a separate thread.
II. Returning Results to the Parent Thread
Each worker thread is assigned the task of determining the validity of a particular region
of the Sudoku puzzle. Once a worker has performed this check, it must pass its results
back to the parent. One good way to handle this is to create an array of integer values
that is visible to each thread. The i
th index in this array corresponds to the i
th worker
thread. If a worker sets its corresponding value to 1, it is indicating that its region of the
Sudoku puzzle is valid. A value of 0 indicates otherwise. When all worker threads have
completed, the parent thread checks each entry in the result array to determine if the
Sudoku puzzle is valid.


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