How to: Traverse a Binary Tree with Parallel Tasks

.NET Framework (current version)
 

The following example shows two ways in which parallel tasks can be used to traverse a tree data structure. The creation of the tree itself is left as an exercise.

Example

public class TreeWalk
{
    static void Main()
    {
        Tree<MyClass> tree = new Tree<MyClass>();

        // ...populate tree (left as an exercise)

        // Define the Action to perform on each node.
        Action<MyClass> myAction = x => Console.WriteLine("{0} : {1}", x.Name, x.Number);

        // Traverse the tree with parallel tasks.
        DoTree(tree, myAction);
    }

    public class MyClass
    {
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public int Number { get; set; }
    }
    public class Tree<T>
    {
        public Tree<T> Left;
        public Tree<T> Right;
        public T Data;
    }



    // By using tasks explcitly.
    public static void DoTree<T>(Tree<T> tree, Action<T> action)
    {
        if (tree == null) return;
        var left = Task.Factory.StartNew(() => DoTree(tree.Left, action));
        var right = Task.Factory.StartNew(() => DoTree(tree.Right, action));
        action(tree.Data);

        try
        {
            Task.WaitAll(left, right);
        }
        catch (AggregateException )
        {
            //handle exceptions here
        }
    }

    // By using Parallel.Invoke
    public static void DoTree2<T>(Tree<T> tree, Action<T> action)
    {
        if (tree == null) return;
        Parallel.Invoke(
            () => DoTree2(tree.Left, action),
            () => DoTree2(tree.Right, action),
            () => action(tree.Data)
        );
    }

}

The two methods shown are functionally equivalent. By using the StartNew method to create and run the tasks, you get a handle back from the tasks which can be used to wait on the tasks and handle exceptions.

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