What is Concurrent HashMap in Java

The ConcurrentHashMap class provides a concurrent version of the standard HashMap. So its functionality is similar to a HashMap, except that it has internally maintained concurrency. Depending upon the level of concurrency required the concurrent HashMap is internally divided into segments. If the level of concurrency required is not specified then it is takes 16 as the default value. So internally the ConcurrentHashMap will be divided into 16 segments. Each Segment behaves independently. We will take a look at the segments in the below examples.

Class Hierarchy

Type Parameters:
K – the type of keys maintained by this map
V – the type of mapped values
All Implemented Interfaces: Serializable, ConcurrentMap<K,V>, Map<K,V>

public ConcurrentHashMap()-
Creates a new, empty map with a default initial capacity (16), load factor (0.75) and concurrencyLevel (16).

Why use Concurrent Hashmap-We use ConcurrentHashMap when a high level of concurrency is required. But already SynchronizedMap is present so what advantages does ConcurrentHashMap have over synchronized map.Both are thread safe. The major advantage is in case of synchronizedMap every write operation acquires lock on entire SynchronizedMap while in case of ConcurrentHashMap the lock is only on one of the segments.




Note :

16 threads can operate on Map simultaneously until they are operating on a different part of Map. This makes ConcurrentHashMap high performance despite keeping thread-safety intact.  Though, it comes with a caveat. Since update operations like put(), remove(), putAll() or clear() is not synchronizedconcurrent retrieval may not reflect most recent change on Map.

Internal Working of ConcurrentHashMap-As no concurrency level has been set explictity, the ConcurrentHashMap gets divided into 16 segments. And each segment acts as an independent HashMap. During right operation the Lock is obtained on this particular segment and not on the entire HashMap Debug the code when it reaches the for Loop above and check the conMap details-


As you can see the table contains the 16 segments. Out of these only three are populated and remaining are null. As soon as new value is to be inserted a new segment will then be populated. (In previous versions of java, whether populated or not all the sixteen segments would get initialized, but this has been improved)

Difference between ConcurrentHashMap and SynchronizedMap -The major differences are-

Synchronization is at Object levelSynchronization is at segment level
A lock is obtained for read/write operation at object levelA lock is obtained for write operation at segment level
Concurrency level cannot be set for better optimizationConcurrency level can be set for better optimization
ConcurrentModification Exception is thrown if a thread tries to modify an existing SynchronizedMap which is being iteratedConcurrentModification Exception is thrown if a thread tries to modify an existing ConcurrentHashMap which is being iterated
Since at a given time only a single Thread can modify the map and block other threads the performance is comparatively bad.Multiple Threads can modify ConcurrentHashMap. Hence performance is much better.
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