Scheduling Algorithms: What You Need To Know
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Scheduling Algorithms: What You Need To Know

What are scheduling algorithms? Scheduling algorithms, in computers, is a technique by which meaning is attached to resources that are utilized for tasks. A scheduler has many different purposes, such as reaching maximum throughput, reducing response time or lag, minimizing latency and more.

The scheduler carries out the activity at fixed intervals and as a result allows all the computer resources to be utilized to their potential. It also allows different users to share a computer, which allows multitasking on a CPU. These scheduled algorithms can also be distributed over remote devices such as in the case of smart devices in use nowadays. Round robin is the process that schedules the algorithm and each process has a fixed time when it must be executed, known as the quantum. What should be taken into account when scheduling algorithms?

Scheduling Algorithm

For a particular project, the algorithms can become a collection of precedence relations, and as such, it is added to the priority list. There are two strategies that may lead to a priority list being made, a decreasing time algorithm and a critical path algorithm. Decreasing time algorithm: This is also known as the DTA and is reliant on a very simple strategy. It allows for longer jobs to be scheduled and completed first and then moves on to shorter jobs in the end. It is an inbuilt characteristic of the priority list to execute the more important tasks will before the less important one.

The processing times in their decreasing order is what the list is premised on and hence, is also known as a decreasing time list. One thing to keep in mind is that the list can be overridden by the precedence relations in case of a dispute between the two. While scheduling strategy, execution of the longer task before shorter sounds astute, it can cause problems as well. If the longer task cannot be executed before the smaller one occurs, then the smaller task will cause a reduction in the finishing time, despite it being against the DTA priority list.

The second strategy for creating a priority list is through the critical path algorithm. The strategy is quite similar to the one of decreasing time algorithm, for example, larger critical times are given preference over shorter critical times. However, while DTA takes processing times into account, critical path algorithm takes critical times into consideration. Those with equal critical times can be executed in any order deemed appropriate.


While the critical path algorithm is slightly better than DTA, a good schedule cannot be a given in either. In fact, there is not even a single scheduling algorithm currently that is efficient enough to offer an optimal schedule. Comparatively, however, critical path algorithm is considered the most efficient. Choosing a scheduling algorithm: Effective scheduling algorithm Scheduling algorithms are usually used when designing operating systems.

When programmers take into account which one to use, there are a lot of factors that may be considered. There is actually no best scheduling algorithm available at the moment, and each has a different purpose. Most of the operating systems on the market use an extended one, a combination of scheduling algorithms or more. Windows XP or vista, for example, utilized multi-level feedback queue, which is more of a preemptive scheduling, round robin, and first in first out algorithms. This type of system allows threads to increase or decrease in priority, depending on whether it has been waiting for a long time.


For most threads the response time is short, but critical systems actually get work done more swiftly. Moreover, since threads can only utilize one unit of round robin in the high priority queue, starvation can become a challenge for long priority threads. The benefits of scheduling algorithms: Scheduling algorithms, the ones based on round robin techniques are very popular among developers due to the purposes it serves when creating operating systems.

The response time is also great with this technique. Schedulers can allow many activities to be carried out and are particularly helpful in load balancing. Not only do they help achieve a target quality of service but are vital to the computation process itself. It is an innate part of the computer system and allows for multiple tasks to be executed by one central processing unit, hence it is basically the most fundamental computer task occurring in gadgets.
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