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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Multiprogramming?
2.1.
Example
2.2.
Advantages of Multiprogramming
2.3.
Disadvantages of Multiprogramming
3.
What is Multitasking?
3.1.
Example
3.2.
Advantages of Multitasking
3.3.
Disadvantages of Multitasking
4.
Main Differences between the multiprogramming and multitasking
4.1.
Definition
4.2.
Focus
4.3.
User Interaction
4.4.
Resource Allocation
4.5.
Parallel Execution
4.6.
Example
4.7.
Primary Goal
4.8.
User Perception
5.
Difference between Multiprogramming and Multitasking
6.
Frequently Asked Questions
6.1.
Which is better multiprogramming or multitasking?
6.2.
What is the difference between multiprogramming and multitasking?
6.3.
What is difference between multiprogramming and multiprocessing?
6.4.
What is the difference between multitasking and multiuser?
6.5.
What is the difference between multitasking and multithreading?
7.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Difference between Multiprogramming and Multitasking

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Introduction

Welcome to our blog on Multiprogramming vs Multitasking! Multiprogramming involves running multiple programs simultaneously on a single processor, while multitasking enables a single processor to perform multiple tasks concurrently. 

multiprogramming vs multitasking

This article will explain the difference between multiprogramming and multitasking. But, before we get into the specifics, we should understand the terms multiprogramming and multitasking: 

Let’s get started: 

What is Multiprogramming?

In simple words, Multiprogramming provides multiple users to perform different tasks on a single processor at the same time. It is non-preemptive where once resources (CPU cycles) are assigned to a process, the process retains control of the CPU until it is terminated or enters a waiting state. However, if a running process requests I/O or an external interrupt during the process's execution, the CPU will then stop that running process and move to that specific interrupt.

  • The basic idea behind it is to use the processor efficiently and reduce the ideal time of the processor. 
  • It creates multiple ready-to-run processes for different users. If one process stalls for some reason, then the operating system can execute the other processes available in the queue
  • The multiprogramming operating system facilitates the whole process in such a way that the CPU utilization is the maximum so that the processor's idle time can be reduced. 

In the example given below, P3 will wait until the P2 is completed with the execution. 

CPU OS

Example

Let's suppose there are five Processes P1, P2, P3, P4, and P5 with their execution time 10, 15, 5, 25, and 2 ms respectively. Then P1 completely executes from time 0-10. Then P2 executes from time 10-25. Then P3 will execute from a 25-30 time period. Then P4 will execute from  30-55. And at last, P5 will execute from 55-57. Keep in mind there is no interrupt occurring during the execution of these processes. If it happens, then the CPU moves to that particular interrupt. 

multiprogramming CPU

Advantages of Multiprogramming

  • Because there is less context switching, the CPU never becomes idle, resulting in maximum utilization.
  • Because non-preemptive is used, memory and resources are readily handled.
  • It can accommodate many users.
  • Short-term jobs are executed sooner than long-term jobs.

Disadvantages of Multiprogramming

  • Response time is reduced.
  • Due to non-preemption, long-term jobs must wait a long time to be completed. 
  • Managing all processes might be problematic at times.

Also Read About, Functions of an Operating System

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What is Multitasking?

In simple words, Multitasking means a single user can run multiple tasks/applications/software simultaneously. It is a preemptive type where once the resources are allocated to the process for a limited time and then deallocated, and if the process still has CPU resources, it is returned to the queue. We can play music, write in Microsoft Word, use Google Chrome, and many other things at the same time on modern operating systems. Multitasking is used to achieve this.

Context Switching

Example

If there are three Processes P1, P2, and P3 with the execution time 12, 18, and 6 ms, respectively. And Quantum period(In a preemptive multitasking system, the time slice or quantum period refers to the amount of time a process is allowed to execute) of all processes is 6. Then P1 will execute from time 0-6. P2 will execute from time 6-12. And P3 will execute from the 12-18 time period. Still, only P3 completes its execution. No P1 will execute from time 18-24 for its remaining execution time. In the same way, P2 executes form time 24-36. Keep in mind there is no interrupt occurring while executing these processes. If it happens, then the CPU moves to that particular interrupt.

Process Queue

You can also check: IEnumerable vs IQueryable

Advantages of Multitasking

  • Response Time is very high.
  • It saves time and money.
  • Multitasking allows users to perform several tasks simultaneously, improving overall efficiency.
  • It enables better resource management by allocating processor time dynamically based on task priority.

Disadvantages of Multitasking

  • CPU idle time will increase due to context switching.
  • Complex multitasking environments may lead to increased system overhead and slower performance.
  • Multitasking can result in higher system complexity, leading to potential errors and troubleshooting challenges.

Main Differences between the multiprogramming and multitasking

The main differences between the multiprogramming and multitasking are:

Definition

  • Multiprogramming: Runs multiple programs concurrently, sharing CPU time efficiently.
  • Multitasking: Executes multiple tasks simultaneously, giving the illusion of parallel processing to enhance user productivity.

Focus

  • Multiprogramming: Emphasizes efficient CPU utilization by switching between programs.
  • Multitasking: Prioritizes user experience, allowing simultaneous execution of multiple user-level tasks.

User Interaction

  • Multiprogramming: Primarily focuses on system-level tasks, often transparent to users.
  • Multitasking: Designed to enhance user experience by running multiple applications concurrently.

Resource Allocation

  • Multiprogramming: Efficiently allocates CPU time among multiple programs.
  • Multitasking: Allocates CPU time based on user priorities, enhancing user interaction.

Parallel Execution

  • Multiprogramming: Programs run sequentially with CPU time-sharing.
  • Multitasking: Provides the illusion of parallel execution, with tasks appearing to run simultaneously.

Example

  • Multiprogramming: Running background system tasks concurrently.
  • Multitasking: Simultaneously running a word processor, web browser, and music player.

Primary Goal

  • Multiprogramming: Optimize CPU utilization for efficient system operation.
  • Multitasking: Improve user experience by allowing concurrent execution of user tasks.

User Perception

  • Multiprogramming: Users may not be aware of concurrent program execution.
  • Multitasking: Users experience simultaneous task execution, enhancing usability.

Difference between Multiprogramming and Multitasking

Lets go through the tabular explanation of Multiprogramming vs Multitasking for better understanding.


Parameter
 

Multiprogramming
 

Multitasking
 
Definition It lets multiple programs use the CPU at the same time. Multitasking refers to the simultaneous execution of numerous programs, processes and threads with a certain timestamp.
Objective It is useful for cutting down on CPU idle time and boosting throughput as much as possible. It may be used to execute numerous tasks at once, significantly improving CPU and system throughput.
Mechanism The context switching method is used. Based on a time-sharing mechanism.
Time  Multiprogramming demands comparatively more time to complete tasks. Multitasking allows you to complete tasks in less time.
Execution In a multitasking system, when one job or process completes its execution or changes to an I/O task, the system temporarily suspends that process. It chooses a new process to execute from the process scheduling pool. Multiple processes can run concurrently in this system by assigning the CPU for a fixed duration of time.
CPU Switching  The CPU shifts between processes swiftly in this environment. The CPU shifts between the processes pf several programs in a single-user environment.
CPU required  Only one CPU is needed in Multiprogramming to run the tasks. Multiple CPUs are required for the task allocation.

You can also read about layered structure of operating system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better multiprogramming or multitasking?

Both multiprogramming and multitasking are techniques in operating systems. Multiprogramming allows multiple programs to reside in the memory, whereas multitasking enables concurrent execution of multiple tasks simultaneously. There is no clear distinction between who is better among them and it depends on the specific situations.

What is the difference between multiprogramming and multitasking?

Multiprogramming involves running multiple programs simultaneously on a single processor, while multitasking enables a single processor to switch between multiple tasks concurrently.

What is difference between multiprogramming and multiprocessing?

Multiprogramming involves running multiple programs on a single processor, while multiprocessing utilizes multiple processors to execute programs simultaneously.

What is the difference between multitasking and multiuser?

Multitasking allows a single user to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, while multiuser systems enable multiple users to access and use a system concurrently.

What is the difference between multitasking and multithreading?

Multitasking enables executing multiple tasks concurrently, while multithreading involves running multiple threads within a single process, enabling concurrent execution of tasks within that process.

Conclusion

This article discusses multiprogramming vs multitasking in detail. The dynamic interplay of multiprogramming and multitasking shapes the landscape of modern computing. Understanding their differences empowers users and developers alike. Embrace the synergy of efficient resource utilization and enhanced user experience, as both concepts continue to evolve in the ever-changing realm of operating systems.

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