Crate crossbeam_deque

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Concurrent work-stealing deques.

These data structures are most commonly used in work-stealing schedulers. The typical setup involves a number of threads, each having its own FIFO or LIFO queue (worker). There is also one global FIFO queue (injector) and a list of references to worker queues that are able to steal tasks (stealers).

We spawn a new task onto the scheduler by pushing it into the injector queue. Each worker thread waits in a loop until it finds the next task to run and then runs it. To find a task, it first looks into its local worker queue, and then into the injector and stealers.


Injector is a FIFO queue, where tasks are pushed and stolen from opposite ends. It is shared among threads and is usually the entry point for new tasks.

Worker has two constructors:

  • new_fifo() - Creates a FIFO queue, in which tasks are pushed and popped from opposite ends.
  • new_lifo() - Creates a LIFO queue, in which tasks are pushed and popped from the same end.

Each Worker is owned by a single thread and supports only push and pop operations.

Method stealer() creates a Stealer that may be shared among threads and can only steal tasks from its Worker. Tasks are stolen from the end opposite to where they get pushed.


Steal operations come in three flavors:

  1. steal() - Steals one task.
  2. steal_batch() - Steals a batch of tasks and moves them into another worker.
  3. steal_batch_and_pop() - Steals a batch of tasks, moves them into another queue, and pops one task from that worker.

In contrast to push and pop operations, stealing can spuriously fail with Steal::Retry, in which case the steal operation needs to be retried.


Suppose a thread in a work-stealing scheduler is idle and looking for the next task to run. To find an available task, it might do the following:

  1. Try popping one task from the local worker queue.
  2. Try stealing a batch of tasks from the global injector queue.
  3. Try stealing one task from another thread using the stealer list.

An implementation of this work-stealing strategy:

use crossbeam_deque::{Injector, Stealer, Worker};
use std::iter;

fn find_task<T>(
    local: &Worker<T>,
    global: &Injector<T>,
    stealers: &[Stealer<T>],
) -> Option<T> {
    // Pop a task from the local queue, if not empty.
    local.pop().or_else(|| {
        // Otherwise, we need to look for a task elsewhere.
        iter::repeat_with(|| {
            // Try stealing a batch of tasks from the global queue.
                // Or try stealing a task from one of the other threads.
                .or_else(|| stealers.iter().map(|s| s.steal()).collect())
        // Loop while no task was stolen and any steal operation needs to be retried.
        .find(|s| !s.is_retry())
        // Extract the stolen task, if there is one.
        .and_then(|s| s.success())



  • Possible outcomes of a steal operation.