10 Differences Between preemptive and non preemptive scheduling

What is preemptive scheduling?

Preemptive scheduling is a method used in computer operating systems to manage the execution of processes. In this approach, the operating system can interrupt a process and allocate the CPU to another process, based on priority or a scheduling algorithm. The current running process may be temporarily suspended to allow other processes to run.

Examples of preemptive scheduling

Some examples of preemptive scheduling algorithms include:
1. Round Robin Scheduling: Each process is allocated a fixed time slice, and if it does not complete within the specified time, it is preempted and moved to the end of the queue.
2. Priority Scheduling: Processes are assigned priority levels, and the CPU is allocated to the process with the highest priority. Lower priority processes can be preempted by higher priority ones.
3. Multilevel Queue Scheduling: Processes are divided into different queues with different priorities. The CPU is allocated to processes in the highest priority queue, and processes in lower priority queues may be preempted when higher priority processes arrive.

What is non-preemptive scheduling?

Non-preemptive scheduling, also known as cooperative scheduling, is another method of managing process execution in operating systems. In this approach, once a process starts executing, it will continue to run until it either completes or voluntarily releases the CPU. The operating system does not interrupt or forcibly preempt the running process.

Examples of non-preemptive scheduling

Some examples of non-preemptive scheduling algorithms include:
1. First-Come, First-Served (FCFS) Scheduling: The processes are executed in the order they arrive, and once a process starts executing, it runs until completion.
2. Shortest Job Next (SJN) Scheduling: The process with the smallest execution time is selected to run first, and it continues until completion before the next process is executed.
3. Priority Scheduling (without preemption): Processes are assigned priority levels, and the CPU is allocated to the process with the highest priority. However, once a process starts executing, it will not be preempted by a higher priority process.

Differences Between Preemptive and Non-Preemptive Scheduling

Difference Area Preemptive Scheduling Non-Preemptive Scheduling
Process Interruption Allows for process interruption by the operating system. Does not interrupt the running process.
Scheduling Accuracy Provides more accurate scheduling as processes can be prioritized and interrupted based on a predefined scheme or algorithm. May not achieve as accurate scheduling since processes can continue executing until completion.
Response Time Shorter response time as high-priority processes can be immediately allocated the CPU. Longer response time as currently executing processes must complete before lower-priority processes get CPU time.
Resource Utilization Potential for better utilization of resources as the operating system can allocate CPU time to processes that need it most. May not make the best use of available resources as processes continue running until completed, potentially causing idle periods for some resources.
Complexity More complex to implement as it requires managing process interruptions and maintaining scheduling priorities. Simpler to implement as processes run to completion without any interruptions.
Tasks Dependencies Does not consider task dependencies during process execution. Can consider task dependencies to ensure required tasks are executed in a specific order.
Response to New Processes Can immediately allocate CPU time to a new high-priority process, even if it arrives during the execution of a lower-priority process. Must wait until the currently executing process finishes before allocating CPU time to a new process, potentially delaying the execution of high-priority tasks.
Preemption Overhead Involves overhead due to frequent context switching and interruption of processes. Does not involve any preemption overhead as processes run to completion.
Real-Time Systems Preemptive scheduling is often used in real-time systems to ensure time-critical tasks are executed promptly. Non-preemptive scheduling may not be suitable for real-time systems as it may not meet strict timing requirements.
Error Handling Can detect and handle errors more efficiently as the operating system can interrupt processes at any point. May have limited error handling capabilities as processes run to completion and cannot be interrupted by the operating system.


In summary, preemptive and non-preemptive scheduling are two different approaches used in operating systems to manage process execution. Preemptive scheduling allows the operating system to interrupt processes and allocate CPU time based on priorities or a scheduling algorithm, while non-preemptive scheduling allows processes to run until completion without any interruptions.

The choice between preemptive and non-preemptive scheduling depends on the requirements of the system and the nature of the tasks to be executed. Preemptive scheduling provides more accurate scheduling and better resource utilization but comes with the overhead of managing interruptions and context switching. On the other hand, non-preemptive scheduling is simpler to implement but may result in longer response times and delays for high-priority tasks.

People Also Ask:

Q: What are the advantages of preemptive scheduling?
A: Preemptive scheduling provides more accurate scheduling, better resource utilization, and the ability to handle high-priority tasks promptly, making it suitable for real-time systems and time-critical applications.

Q: When is non-preemptive scheduling preferred?
A: Non-preemptive scheduling is preferred when simplicity is valued over strict scheduling accuracy or when task dependencies need to be considered.

Q: Can non-preemptive scheduling handle time-critical tasks?
A: Non-preemptive scheduling may not be suitable for time-critical tasks as it cannot guarantee prompt execution or meet strict timing requirements.

Q: What is the role of priorities in preemptive scheduling?
A: Priorities play a crucial role in preemptive scheduling as they determine which process gets allocated the CPU when multiple processes are ready to run.

Q: Are there scheduling algorithms that combine preemptive and non-preemptive approaches?
A: Yes, there are hybrid scheduling algorithms that combine both approaches to leverage their strengths in specific scenarios. For example, a system may use preemptive scheduling for high-priority tasks and non-preemptive scheduling for lower-priority or I/O-bound tasks.

Leave a Comment

content of this page is protected

Scroll to Top