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critical

Specifies that code is only be executed on one thread at a time.

#pragma omp critical [(name)]
{
   code_block
}

where,

(name) (optional)

A name to identify the critical code. Note that name must be enclosed in parentheses.

The critical directive supports no OpenMP clauses.

For more information, see 2.6.2 critical Construct.

// omp_critical.cpp
// compile with: /openmp 
#include <omp.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

#define SIZE 10

int main() 
{
    int i;
    int max;
    int a[SIZE];

    for (i = 0; i < SIZE; i++) 
    {
        a[i] = rand();
        printf_s("%d\n", a[i]);
    }

    max = a[0];
    #pragma omp parallel for num_threads(4)
        for (i = 1; i < SIZE; i++) 
        {
            if (a[i] > max)
            {
                #pragma omp critical
                {
                    // compare a[i] and max again because max 
                    // could have been changed by another thread after 
                    // the comparison outside the critical section
                    if (a[i] > max)
                        max = a[i];
                }
            }
        }
   
    printf_s("max = %d\n", max);
}
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max = 29358
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