How to: Use a Thread Pool (C# and Visual Basic)

Thread pooling is a form of multithreading in which tasks are added to a queue and automatically started when threads are created. For more information, see Thread Pooling (C# and Visual Basic).

The following example uses the .NET Framework thread pool to calculate the Fibonacci result for ten numbers between 20 and 40. Each Fibonacci result is represented by the Fibonacci class, which provides a method named ThreadPoolCallback that performs the calculation. An object that represents each Fibonacci value is created, and the ThreadPoolCallback method is passed to QueueUserWorkItem, which assigns an available thread in the pool to execute the method.

Because each Fibonacci object is given a semi-random value to compute, and because each thread will be competing for processor time, you cannot know in advance how long it will take for all ten results to be calculated. That is why each Fibonacci object is passed an instance of the ManualResetEvent class during construction. Each object signals the provided event object when its calculation is complete, which allows the primary thread to block execution with WaitAll until all ten Fibonacci objects have calculated a result. The Main method then displays each Fibonacci result.

Imports System.Threading

Module Module1

    Public Class Fibonacci
        Private _n As Integer
        Private _fibOfN
        Private _doneEvent As ManualResetEvent

        Public ReadOnly Property N() As Integer
                Return _n
            End Get
        End Property

        Public ReadOnly Property FibOfN() As Integer
                Return _fibOfN
            End Get
        End Property

        Sub New(ByVal n As Integer, ByVal doneEvent As ManualResetEvent)
            _n = n
            _doneEvent = doneEvent
        End Sub

        ' Wrapper method for use with the thread pool.
        Public Sub ThreadPoolCallBack(ByVal threadContext As Object)
            Dim threadIndex As Integer = CType(threadContext, Integer)
            Console.WriteLine("thread {0} started...", threadIndex)
            _fibOfN = Calculate(_n)
            Console.WriteLine("thread {0} result calculated...", threadIndex)
        End Sub

        Public Function Calculate(ByVal n As Integer) As Integer
            If n <= 1 Then
                Return n
            End If
            Return Calculate(n - 1) + Calculate(n - 2)
        End Function

    End Class

    Sub Main()
        Const FibonacciCalculations As Integer = 9 ' 0 to 9

        ' One event is used for each Fibonacci object
        Dim doneEvents(FibonacciCalculations) As ManualResetEvent
        Dim fibArray(FibonacciCalculations) As Fibonacci
        Dim r As New Random()

        ' Configure and start threads using ThreadPool.
        Console.WriteLine("launching {0} tasks...", FibonacciCalculations)

        For i As Integer = 0 To FibonacciCalculations
            doneEvents(i) = New ManualResetEvent(False)
            Dim f = New Fibonacci(r.Next(20, 40), doneEvents(i))
            fibArray(i) = f
            ThreadPool.QueueUserWorkItem(AddressOf f.ThreadPoolCallBack, i)

        ' Wait for all threads in pool to calculate.
        Console.WriteLine("All calculations are complete.")

        ' Display the results.
        For i As Integer = 0 To FibonacciCalculations
            Dim f As Fibonacci = fibArray(i)
            Console.WriteLine("Fibonacci({0}) = {1}", f.N, f.FibOfN)
    End Sub

End Module

Following is an example of the output.

launching 10 tasks...
thread 0 started...
thread 1 started...
thread 1 result calculated...
thread 2 started...
thread 2 result calculated...
thread 3 started...
thread 3 result calculated...
thread 4 started...
thread 0 result calculated...
thread 5 started...
thread 5 result calculated...
thread 6 started...
thread 4 result calculated...
thread 7 started...
thread 6 result calculated...
thread 8 started...
thread 8 result calculated...
thread 9 started...
thread 9 result calculated...
thread 7 result calculated...
All calculations are complete.
Fibonacci(38) = 39088169
Fibonacci(29) = 514229
Fibonacci(25) = 75025
Fibonacci(22) = 17711
Fibonacci(38) = 39088169
Fibonacci(29) = 514229
Fibonacci(29) = 514229
Fibonacci(38) = 39088169
Fibonacci(21) = 10946
Fibonacci(27) = 196418

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