Why use hashMap when ConcurrentHashMap is there… | Techartifact

ConcurrentHashMap is sort of hidden class. Not many people know about it and not many people care to use it. The class offers a very robust and fast (comparatively, we all know java concurrency isn’t the fastest) method of synchronizing a Map collection.

On the internet there is lot of article which tell difference between hashmap and ConcurrentHashMap. This class obeys the same functional specification as Hashtable, and includes versions of methods corresponding to each method of Hashtable. However, even though all operations are thread-safe, retrieval operations do not entail locking, and there is not any support for locking the entire table in a way that prevents all access. This class is fully inter-operable with Hashtable in programs that rely on its thread safety but not on its synchronization details.
Ideally we should not ask for difference.Its like comparing orange with apple.One is giving you synchronize feature and other one is note.

concurrentHashMap is thread-safe implementation of Map interface. In this class put and remove method are synchronized but not get method. This class is different from Hashtable in terms of locking; it means that hashtable use object level lock but this class uses bucket level lock thus having better performance.

If you use HashMap in your application, it is working perfectly in development or test environment ,but gave pain in production..
But obvious is—when heavy load, HashMap behaves starting weird. If we use HashTable.Hashtable’s offer concurrent access to their entries, with a small caveat, the entire map is locked to perform any sort of operation. While this overhead is ignorable in a web application under normal load, under heavy load it can lead to delayed response times and overtaxing of your server for no good reason.
This is where ConcurrentHashMap’s step in. They offer all the features of Hashtable with a performance almost as good as a HashMap. ConcurrentHashMap’s accomplish this by a very simple mechanism.Instead of Map’s lock ,the collection keep a list of 16 lock by default,each of which is used to guard (or lock on) a single bucket of the map. This effectively means that 16 threads can modify the collection at a single time (as long as they’re all working on different buckets). Infact there is no operation performed by this collection that locks the entire map. The concurrency level of the collection, the number of threads that can modify it at the same time without blocking, can be increased. However a higher number means more overhead of maintaining this list of locks.

Retrieval operations on a ConcurrentHashMap do not block unless the entry is not found in the bucket or if the value of the entry is null. In such a case the map synchronizes on the bucket and then tries to look for the entry again just in case the entry was put or removed right after the get in synchronized mode.Removal operations do require a bit of overhead. All removal operations require the chain of elements before and after to be cloned and joined without the removed element. Since the value of the map key is volatile (not really, the value of the inner Entry class is volatile) if a thread already traversing the bucket from which a value is removed reaches the removed element, it automatically sees a null value and knows to ignore such a value.


I am an Oracle ACE in Oracle ADF/Webcenter. Sr Java Consultant-working on Java/J2EE/Oracle ADF/Webcenter Portal/ content and Hibernate for several years. I'm an active member of the OTN JDeveloper/Webcenter forum. Passionate about learning new technologies. I am here to share my knowledge. Give your views and suggestion on [email protected] .

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