Interlocked.CompareExchange Method

Definition

Overloads

Compare<wbr>Exchange(Double, Double, Double)

Compares two double-precision floating point numbers for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first value.

Compare<wbr>Exchange(Int32, Int32, Int32)

Compares two 32-bit signed integers for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first value.

Compare<wbr>Exchange(Int64, Int64, Int64)

Compares two 64-bit signed integers for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first value.

Compare<wbr>Exchange(Int<wbr>Ptr, Int<wbr>Ptr, Int<wbr>Ptr)

Compares two platform-specific handles or pointers for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first one.

Compare<wbr>Exchange(Object, Object, Object)

Compares two objects for reference equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first object.

Compare<wbr>Exchange(Single, Single, Single)

Compares two single-precision floating point numbers for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first value.

Compare<wbr>Exchange<T>(T, T, T)

Compares two instances of the specified reference type T for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first one.

CompareExchange(Double, Double, Double)

Compares two double-precision floating point numbers for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first value.

public static double CompareExchange (ref double location1, double value, double comparand);
Parameters
location1
Double

The destination, whose value is compared with comparand and possibly replaced.

value
Double

The value that replaces the destination value if the comparison results in equality.

comparand
Double

The value that is compared to the value at location1.

Returns

The original value in location1.

Exceptions

The address of location1 is a null pointer.

Examples

The following code example demonstrates a thread-safe method that accumulates a running total of Double values. Two threads add a series of Double values using the thread-safe method and ordinary addition, and when the threads complete the totals are compared. On a dual-processor computer, there is a significant difference in the totals.

In the thread-safe method, the initial value of the running total is saved, and then the CompareExchange method is used to exchange the newly computed total with the old total. If the return value is not equal to the saved value of the running total, then another thread has updated the total in the meantime. In that case, the attempt to update the running total must be repeated.

// This example demonstrates a thread-safe method that adds to a
// running total.  
using System;
using System.Threading;

public class ThreadSafe
{
    // Field totalValue contains a running total that can be updated
    // by multiple threads. It must be protected from unsynchronized 
    // access.
    private double totalValue = 0.0;

    // The Total property returns the running total.
    public double Total { get { return totalValue; }}

    // AddToTotal safely adds a value to the running total.
    public double AddToTotal(double addend)
    {
        double initialValue, computedValue;
        do
        {
            // Save the current running total in a local variable.
            initialValue = totalValue;

            // Add the new value to the running total.
            computedValue = initialValue + addend;

            // CompareExchange compares totalValue to initialValue. If
            // they are not equal, then another thread has updated the
            // running total since this loop started. CompareExchange
            // does not update totalValue. CompareExchange returns the
            // contents of totalValue, which do not equal initialValue,
            // so the loop executes again.
        }
        while (initialValue != Interlocked.CompareExchange(ref totalValue, 
            computedValue, initialValue));
        // If no other thread updated the running total, then 
        // totalValue and initialValue are equal when CompareExchange
        // compares them, and computedValue is stored in totalValue.
        // CompareExchange returns the value that was in totalValue
        // before the update, which is equal to initialValue, so the 
        // loop ends.

        // The function returns computedValue, not totalValue, because
        // totalValue could be changed by another thread between
        // the time the loop ends and the function returns.
        return computedValue;
    }
}

public class Test
{
    // Create an instance of the ThreadSafe class to test.
    private static ThreadSafe ts = new ThreadSafe();
    private static double control;

    private static Random r = new Random();
    private static ManualResetEvent mre = new ManualResetEvent(false);

    public static void Main()
    {
        // Create two threads, name them, and start them. The
        // thread will block on mre.
        Thread t1 = new Thread(TestThread);
        t1.Name = "Thread 1";
        t1.Start();
        Thread t2 = new Thread(TestThread);
        t2.Name = "Thread 2";
        t2.Start();

        // Now let the threads begin adding random numbers to 
        // the total.
        mre.Set();
        
        // Wait until all the threads are done.
        t1.Join();
        t2.Join();

        Console.WriteLine("Thread safe: {0}  Ordinary Double: {1}", 
            ts.Total, control);
    }

    private static void TestThread()
    {
        // Wait until the signal.
        mre.WaitOne();

        for(int i = 1; i <= 1000000; i++)
        {
            // Add to the running total in the ThreadSafe instance, and
            // to an ordinary double.
            //
            double testValue = r.NextDouble();
            control += testValue;
            ts.AddToTotal(testValue);
        }
    }
}

/* On a dual-processor computer, this code example produces output 
   similar to the following:

Thread safe: 998068.049623744  Ordinary Double: 759775.417190589
 */
' This example demonstrates a thread-safe method that adds to a
' running total.  
Imports System.Threading

Public Class ThreadSafe
    ' Field totalValue contains a running total that can be updated
    ' by multiple threads. It must be protected from unsynchronized 
    ' access.
    Private totalValue As Double = 0.0

    ' The Total property returns the running total.
    Public ReadOnly Property Total As Double
        Get
            Return totalValue
        End Get
    End Property

    ' AddToTotal safely adds a value to the running total.
    Public Function AddToTotal(ByVal addend As Double) As Double
        Dim initialValue, computedValue As Double
        Do
            ' Save the current running total in a local variable.
            initialValue = totalValue

            ' Add the new value to the running total.
            computedValue = initialValue + addend

            ' CompareExchange compares totalValue to initialValue. If
            ' they are not equal, then another thread has updated the
            ' running total since this loop started. CompareExchange
            ' does not update totalValue. CompareExchange returns the
            ' contents of totalValue, which do not equal initialValue,
            ' so the loop executes again.
        Loop While initialValue <> Interlocked.CompareExchange( _
            totalValue, computedValue, initialValue)
        ' If no other thread updated the running total, then 
        ' totalValue and initialValue are equal when CompareExchange
        ' compares them, and computedValue is stored in totalValue.
        ' CompareExchange returns the value that was in totalValue
        ' before the update, which is equal to initialValue, so the 
        ' loop ends.

        ' The function returns computedValue, not totalValue, because
        ' totalValue could be changed by another thread between
        ' the time the loop ends and the function returns.
        Return computedValue
    End Function
End Class

Public Class Test
    ' Create an instance of the ThreadSafe class to test.
    Private Shared ts As New ThreadSafe()
    Private Shared control As Double

    Private Shared r As New Random()
    Private Shared mre As New ManualResetEvent(false)

    <MTAThread> _
    Public Shared Sub Main()
        ' Create two threads, name them, and start them. The
        ' threads will block on mre.
        Dim t1 As New Thread(AddressOf TestThread)
        t1.Name = "Thread 1"
        t1.Start()
        Dim t2 As New Thread(AddressOf TestThread)
        t2.Name = "Thread 2"
        t2.Start()

        ' Now let the threads begin adding random numbers to 
        ' the total.
        mre.Set()
        
        ' Wait until all the threads are done.
        t1.Join()
        t2.Join()

        Console.WriteLine("Thread safe: {0}  Ordinary Double: {1}", ts.Total, control)
    End Sub

    Private Shared Sub TestThread()
        ' Wait until the signal.
        mre.WaitOne()

        For i As Integer = 1 to 1000000
            ' Add to the running total in the ThreadSafe instance, and
            ' to an ordinary double.
            '
            Dim testValue As Double = r.NextDouble
            control += testValue
            ts.AddToTotal(testValue)
        Next
    End Sub
End Class

' On a dual-processor computer, this code example produces output 
' similar to the following:
'
'Thread safe: 998068.049623744  Ordinary Double: 759775.417190589

Remarks

If comparand and the value in location1 are equal, then value is stored in location1. Otherwise, no operation is performed. The compare and exchange operations are performed as an atomic operation. The return value of CompareExchange is the original value in location1, whether or not the exchange takes place.

CompareExchange(Int32, Int32, Int32)

Compares two 32-bit signed integers for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first value.

public static int CompareExchange (ref int location1, int value, int comparand);
Parameters
location1
Int32

The destination, whose value is compared with comparand and possibly replaced.

value
Int32

The value that replaces the destination value if the comparison results in equality.

comparand
Int32

The value that is compared to the value at location1.

Returns

The original value in location1.

Exceptions

The address of location1 is a null pointer.

Examples

The following code example demonstrates a thread-safe method that accumulates a running total. The initial value of the running total is saved, and then the CompareExchange method is used to exchange the newly computed total with the old total. If the return value is not equal to the saved value of the running total, then another thread has updated the total in the meantime. In that case, the attempt to update the running total must be repeated.

Note

The Add method, introduced in version 2.0 of the .NET Framework, provides a more convenient way to accumulate thread-safe running totals for integers.

// This example demonstrates a thread-safe method that adds to a
// running total.  It cannot be run directly.  You can compile it
// as a library, or add the class to a project.
#using <system.dll>

using namespace System::Threading;
public ref class ThreadSafe
{
private:

   // totalValue contains a running total that can be updated
   // by multiple threads. It must be protected from unsynchronized 
   // access.
   int totalValue;

public:

   property int Total 
   {

      // The Total property returns the running total.
      int get()
      {
         return totalValue;
      }

   }

   // AddToTotal safely adds a value to the running total.
   int AddToTotal( int addend )
   {
      int initialValue;
      int computedValue;
      do
      {
         
         // Save the current running total in a local variable.
         initialValue = totalValue;
         
         // Add the new value to the running total.
         computedValue = initialValue + addend;
         
         // CompareExchange compares totalValue to initialValue. If
         // they are not equal, then another thread has updated the
         // running total since this loop started. CompareExchange
         // does not update totalValue. CompareExchange returns the
         // contents of totalValue, which do not equal initialValue,
         // so the loop executes again.
      }
      while ( initialValue != Interlocked::CompareExchange( totalValue, computedValue, initialValue ) );

      
      // If no other thread updated the running total, then 
      // totalValue and initialValue are equal when CompareExchange
      // compares them, and computedValue is stored in totalValue.
      // CompareExchange returns the value that was in totalValue
      // before the update, which is equal to initialValue, so the 
      // loop ends.
      // The function returns computedValue, not totalValue, because
      // totalValue could be changed by another thread between
      // the time the loop ends and the function returns.
      return computedValue;
   }

};

// This example demonstrates a thread-safe method that adds to a
// running total.  It cannot be run directly.  You can compile it
// as a library, or add the class to a project.
using System.Threading;

public class ThreadSafe {
    // totalValue contains a running total that can be updated
    // by multiple threads. It must be protected from unsynchronized 
    // access.
    private int totalValue = 0;

    // The Total property returns the running total.
    public int Total {
        get { return totalValue; }
    }

    // AddToTotal safely adds a value to the running total.
    public int AddToTotal(int addend) {
        int initialValue, computedValue;
        do {
            // Save the current running total in a local variable.
            initialValue = totalValue;

            // Add the new value to the running total.
            computedValue = initialValue + addend;

            // CompareExchange compares totalValue to initialValue. If
            // they are not equal, then another thread has updated the
            // running total since this loop started. CompareExchange
            // does not update totalValue. CompareExchange returns the
            // contents of totalValue, which do not equal initialValue,
            // so the loop executes again.
        } while (initialValue != Interlocked.CompareExchange(
            ref totalValue, computedValue, initialValue));
        // If no other thread updated the running total, then 
        // totalValue and initialValue are equal when CompareExchange
        // compares them, and computedValue is stored in totalValue.
        // CompareExchange returns the value that was in totalValue
        // before the update, which is equal to initialValue, so the 
        // loop ends.

        // The function returns computedValue, not totalValue, because
        // totalValue could be changed by another thread between
        // the time the loop ends and the function returns.
        return computedValue;
    }
}
' This example demonstrates a thread-safe method that adds to a
' running total.  It cannot be run directly.  You can compile it
' as a library, or add the class to a project.
Imports System.Threading

Public Class ThreadSafe
    ' Field totalValue contains a running total that can be updated
    ' by multiple threads. It must be protected from unsynchronized 
    ' access.
    Private totalValue As Integer = 0

    ' The Total property returns the running total.
    Public ReadOnly Property Total As Integer
        Get
            Return totalValue
        End Get
    End Property

    ' AddToTotal safely adds a value to the running total.
    Public Function AddToTotal(ByVal addend As Integer) As Integer
        Dim initialValue, computedValue As Integer
        Do
            ' Save the current running total in a local variable.
            initialValue = totalValue

            ' Add the new value to the running total.
            computedValue = initialValue + addend

            ' CompareExchange compares totalValue to initialValue. If
            ' they are not equal, then another thread has updated the
            ' running total since this loop started. CompareExchange
            ' does not update totalValue. CompareExchange returns the
            ' contents of totalValue, which do not equal initialValue,
            ' so the loop executes again.
        Loop While initialValue <> Interlocked.CompareExchange( _
            totalValue, computedValue, initialValue)
        ' If no other thread updated the running total, then 
        ' totalValue and initialValue are equal when CompareExchange
        ' compares them, and computedValue is stored in totalValue.
        ' CompareExchange returns the value that was in totalValue
        ' before the update, which is equal to initialValue, so the 
        ' loop ends.

        ' The function returns computedValue, not totalValue, because
        ' totalValue could be changed by another thread between
        ' the time the loop ends and the function returns.
        Return computedValue
    End Function
End Class

Remarks

If comparand and the value in location1 are equal, then value is stored in location1. Otherwise, no operation is performed. The compare and exchange operations are performed as an atomic operation. The return value of CompareExchange is the original value in location1, whether or not the exchange takes place.

CompareExchange(Int64, Int64, Int64)

Compares two 64-bit signed integers for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first value.

public static long CompareExchange (ref long location1, long value, long comparand);
Parameters
location1
Int64

The destination, whose value is compared with comparand and possibly replaced.

value
Int64

The value that replaces the destination value if the comparison results in equality.

comparand
Int64

The value that is compared to the value at location1.

Returns

The original value in location1.

Exceptions

The address of location1 is a null pointer.

Remarks

If comparand and the value in location1 are equal, then value is stored in location1. Otherwise, no operation is performed. The compare and exchange operations are performed as an atomic operation. The return value of CompareExchange is the original value in location1, whether or not the exchange takes place.

CompareExchange(IntPtr, IntPtr, IntPtr)

Compares two platform-specific handles or pointers for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first one.

public static IntPtr CompareExchange (ref IntPtr location1, IntPtr value, IntPtr comparand);
Parameters
location1
IntPtr

The destination IntPtr, whose value is compared with the value of comparand and possibly replaced by value.

value
IntPtr

The IntPtr that replaces the destination value if the comparison results in equality.

comparand
IntPtr

The IntPtr that is compared to the value at location1.

Returns

The original value in location1.

Exceptions

The address of location1 is a null pointer.

Remarks

If comparand and the value in location1 are equal, then value is stored in location1. Otherwise, no operation is performed. The compare and exchange operations are performed as an atomic operation. The return value of this method is the original value in location1, whether or not the exchange takes place.

Note

IntPtr is a platform-specific type.

CompareExchange(Object, Object, Object)

Compares two objects for reference equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first object.

public static object CompareExchange (ref object location1, object value, object comparand);
Parameters
location1
Object

The destination object that is compared with comparand and possibly replaced.

value
Object

The object that replaces the destination object if the comparison results in equality.

comparand
Object

The object that is compared to the object at location1.

Returns

The original value in location1.

Exceptions

The address of location1 is a null pointer.

Remarks

If comparand and the object in location1 are equal, then value is stored in location1. Otherwise, no operation is performed. The compare and exchange operations are performed as an atomic operation. The return value of CompareExchange is the original value in location1, whether or not the exchange takes place.

Beginning with .NET Framework version 2.0, the CompareExchange<T>(T, T, T) method overload provides a type-safe alternative for reference types.

Note

The objects are compared for reference equality, rather than Object.Equals. As a result, two boxed instances of the same value type (for example, the integer 3) always appear to be unequal, and no operation is performed. Do not use this overload with value types.

CompareExchange(Single, Single, Single)

Compares two single-precision floating point numbers for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first value.

public static float CompareExchange (ref float location1, float value, float comparand);
Parameters
location1
Single

The destination, whose value is compared with comparand and possibly replaced.

value
Single

The value that replaces the destination value if the comparison results in equality.

comparand
Single

The value that is compared to the value at location1.

Returns

The original value in location1.

Exceptions

The address of location1 is a null pointer.

Examples

The following code example demonstrates a thread-safe method that accumulates a running total of Single values. Two threads add a series of Single values using the thread-safe method and ordinary addition, and when the threads complete the totals are compared. On a dual-processor computer, there is a significant difference in the totals.

In the thread-safe method, the initial value of the running total is saved, and then the CompareExchange method is used to exchange the newly computed total with the old total. If the return value is not equal to the saved value of the running total, then another thread has updated the total in the meantime. In that case, the attempt to update the running total must be repeated.

// This example demonstrates a thread-safe method that adds to a
// running total.  
using System;
using System.Threading;

public class ThreadSafe
{
    // Field totalValue contains a running total that can be updated
    // by multiple threads. It must be protected from unsynchronized 
    // access.
    private float totalValue = 0.0F;

    // The Total property returns the running total.
    public float Total { get { return totalValue; }}

    // AddToTotal safely adds a value to the running total.
    public float AddToTotal(float addend)
    {
        float initialValue, computedValue;
        do
        {
            // Save the current running total in a local variable.
            initialValue = totalValue;

            // Add the new value to the running total.
            computedValue = initialValue + addend;

            // CompareExchange compares totalValue to initialValue. If
            // they are not equal, then another thread has updated the
            // running total since this loop started. CompareExchange
            // does not update totalValue. CompareExchange returns the
            // contents of totalValue, which do not equal initialValue,
            // so the loop executes again.
        }
        while (initialValue != Interlocked.CompareExchange(ref totalValue, 
            computedValue, initialValue));
        // If no other thread updated the running total, then 
        // totalValue and initialValue are equal when CompareExchange
        // compares them, and computedValue is stored in totalValue.
        // CompareExchange returns the value that was in totalValue
        // before the update, which is equal to initialValue, so the 
        // loop ends.

        // The function returns computedValue, not totalValue, because
        // totalValue could be changed by another thread between
        // the time the loop ends and the function returns.
        return computedValue;
    }
}

public class Test
{
    // Create an instance of the ThreadSafe class to test.
    private static ThreadSafe ts = new ThreadSafe();
    private static float control;

    private static Random r = new Random();
    private static ManualResetEvent mre = new ManualResetEvent(false);

    public static void Main()
    {
        // Create two threads, name them, and start them. The
        // thread will block on mre.
        Thread t1 = new Thread(TestThread);
        t1.Name = "Thread 1";
        t1.Start();
        Thread t2 = new Thread(TestThread);
        t2.Name = "Thread 2";
        t2.Start();

        // Now let the threads begin adding random numbers to 
        // the total.
        mre.Set();
        
        // Wait until all the threads are done.
        t1.Join();
        t2.Join();

        Console.WriteLine("Thread safe: {0}  Ordinary float: {1}", 
            ts.Total, control);
    }

    private static void TestThread()
    {
        // Wait until the signal.
        mre.WaitOne();

        for(int i = 1; i <= 1000000; i++)
        {
            // Add to the running total in the ThreadSafe instance, and
            // to an ordinary float.
            //
            float testValue = (float) r.NextDouble();
            control += testValue;
            ts.AddToTotal(testValue);
        }
    }
}

/* On a dual-processor computer, this code example produces output 
   similar to the following:

Thread safe: 17039.57  Ordinary float: 15706.44
 */
' This example demonstrates a thread-safe method that adds to a
' running total.  
Imports System.Threading

Public Class ThreadSafe
    ' Field totalValue contains a running total that can be updated
    ' by multiple threads. It must be protected from unsynchronized 
    ' access.
    Private totalValue As Single = 0.0

    ' The Total property returns the running total.
    Public ReadOnly Property Total As Single
        Get
            Return totalValue
        End Get
    End Property

    ' AddToTotal safely adds a value to the running total.
    Public Function AddToTotal(ByVal addend As Single) As Single
        Dim initialValue, computedValue As Single
        Do
            ' Save the current running total in a local variable.
            initialValue = totalValue

            ' Add the new value to the running total.
            computedValue = initialValue + addend

            ' CompareExchange compares totalValue to initialValue. If
            ' they are not equal, then another thread has updated the
            ' running total since this loop started. CompareExchange
            ' does not update totalValue. CompareExchange returns the
            ' contents of totalValue, which do not equal initialValue,
            ' so the loop executes again.
        Loop While initialValue <> Interlocked.CompareExchange( _
            totalValue, computedValue, initialValue)
        ' If no other thread updated the running total, then 
        ' totalValue and initialValue are equal when CompareExchange
        ' compares them, and computedValue is stored in totalValue.
        ' CompareExchange returns the value that was in totalValue
        ' before the update, which is equal to initialValue, so the 
        ' loop ends.

        ' The function returns computedValue, not totalValue, because
        ' totalValue could be changed by another thread between
        ' the time the loop ends and the function returns.
        Return computedValue
    End Function
End Class

Public Class Test
    ' Create an instance of the ThreadSafe class to test.
    Private Shared ts As New ThreadSafe()
    Private Shared control As Single

    Private Shared r As New Random()
    Private Shared mre As New ManualResetEvent(false)

    <MTAThread> _
    Public Shared Sub Main()
        ' Create two threads, name them, and start them. The
        ' threads will block on mre.
        Dim t1 As New Thread(AddressOf TestThread)
        t1.Name = "Thread 1"
        t1.Start()
        Dim t2 As New Thread(AddressOf TestThread)
        t2.Name = "Thread 2"
        t2.Start()

        ' Now let the threads begin adding random numbers to 
        ' the total.
        mre.Set()
        
        ' Wait until all the threads are done.
        t1.Join()
        t2.Join()

        Console.WriteLine("Thread safe: {0}  Ordinary Single: {1}", ts.Total, control)
    End Sub

    Private Shared Sub TestThread()
        ' Wait until the signal.
        mre.WaitOne()

        For i As Integer = 1 to 1000000
            ' Add to the running total in the ThreadSafe instance, and
            ' to an ordinary Single.
            '
            Dim testValue As Single = r.NextDouble()
            control += testValue
            ts.AddToTotal(testValue)
        Next
    End Sub
End Class

' On a dual-processor computer, this code example produces output 
' similar to the following:
'
'Thread safe: 17039.57  Ordinary Single: 15706.44

Remarks

If comparand and the value in location1 are equal, then value is stored in location1. Otherwise, no operation is performed. The compare and exchange operations are performed as an atomic operation. The return value of CompareExchange is the original value in location1, whether or not the exchange takes place.

CompareExchange(T, T, T)

Compares two instances of the specified reference type T for equality and, if they are equal, replaces the first one.

[System.Runtime.InteropServices.ComVisible(false)]
public static T CompareExchange<T> (ref T location1, T value, T comparand) where T : class;
Type Parameters
T

The type to be used for location1, value, and comparand. This type must be a reference type.

Parameters
location1
T

The destination, whose value is compared with comparand and possibly replaced. This is a reference parameter (ref in C#, ByRef in Visual Basic).

value
T

The value that replaces the destination value if the comparison results in equality.

comparand
T

The value that is compared to the value at location1.

Returns
T

The original value in location1.

Exceptions

The address of location1 is a null pointer.

Remarks

If comparand and the value in location1 are equal, then value is stored in location1. Otherwise, no operation is performed. The comparison and the exchange are performed as an atomic operation. The return value of this method is the original value in location1, whether or not the exchange takes place.

This method only supports reference types. There are overloads of the CompareExchange method for the value types Int32, Int64, IntPtr, Single, and Double, but there is no support for other value types.

Note

This method overload is preferable to the CompareExchange(Object, Object, Object) method overload, because the latter requires the destination object to be accessed late-bound.