Race Condition

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A flaw in design where the final state of a system depends on which of two or more parallel actions complete first. This type of problem often gives rise to apparently random behaviour.

The original meaning was in the context of electronic systems, especially digital electronic systems. All digital circuits incorporate delays and, especially when pushed to the limits of speed, behave in ways that can surprise the designer. "Race Conditions" are one kind of design flaw that is a common cause of apparently random behaviour. Using a Karnaugh Map often helps to highlight, and hence eliminate, these types of problems.

When applying these types of timing dependencies to database implementations the ACID Model is often used to ensure consistent system behaviour.

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The following pages link to here: ACID Model, Karnaugh Map

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