Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Scheduling (from schema) is a key concept in multitasking and multiprocessing operating system design, and in real-time operating system design. It refers to the way processes are assigned priorities in a priority queue. This assignment is carried out by software known as a scheduler.

In general-purpose operating systems, the goal of the scheduler is to balance processor loads, and prevent any one process from either monopolizing the processor or being starved for resources. In real-time environments, such as devices for automatic control in industry (for example robotics), the scheduler also must ensure that processes can meet deadlines; this is crucial for keeping the system stable.

Common scheduling practices