dining philosophers

(classic problem)

Definition: Suppose a number of philosophers surround a dining table. Adjacent philosophers share one fork. They spend time thinking or trying to eat. A philosopher must have both the fork on the left and the fork on the right to eat. Clearly adjacent philosophers cannot eat at the same time. The problem is to find an algorithm for taking forks that prevents deadlock, starvation, etc.

Author: PEB

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Entry modified 8 November 2021.
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Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "dining philosophers", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed. 8 November 2021. (accessed TODAY) Available from: