Template class for a vector that can be concurrently grown and accessed.


template<typename T, class Alloc=cache_aligned_allocator<T> >
class concurrent_vector;


#include "tbb/concurrent_vector.h"


A concurrent_vector is a container with the following features:

  • Random access by index. The index of the first element is zero.

  • Multiple threads can grow the container and append new elements concurrently.

  • Growing the container does not invalidate existing iterators or indices.

A concurrent_vector meets all requirements for a Container and a Reversible Container as specified in the ISO C++ standard. It does not meet the Sequence requirements due to absence of methods insert() and erase().


namespace tbb {
    template<typename T, typename Alloc=cache_aligned_allocator<T> >
    class concurrent_vector {
        typedef size_t size_type;
        typedef allocator-A-rebound-for-T allocator_type;
        typedef T value_type;
        typedef ptrdiff_t difference_type;
        typedef T& reference;
        typedef const T& const_reference;
        typedef T* pointer;
        typedef const T* const_pointer;
        typedef implementation-defined iterator;
        typedef implementation-defined const_iterator;
        typedef implementation-defined reverse_iterator;
        typedef implementation-defined const_reverse_iterator;

        // Parallel ranges
        typedef implementation-defined range_type;
        typedef implementation-defined const_range_type;
        range_type range( size_t grainsize );
        const_range_type range( size_t grainsize ) const;

        // Constructors
        explicit concurrent_vector( const allocator_type& a = allocator_type() );
        concurrent_vector( const concurrent_vector& x );
        template<typename M>
        concurrent_vector( const concurrent_vector<T, M>& x );
        explicit concurrent_vector( size_type n, const T& t = T(),
                                    const allocator_type& a = allocator_type() );
        template<typename InputIterator>
        concurrent_vector( InputIterator first, InputIterator last,
                           const allocator_type& a = allocator_type());
        // C++11 specific
        concurrent_vector( concurrent_vector&& x);
        concurrent_vector( concurrent_vector&& x, const allocator_type& a);
        concurrent_vector( std::initializer_list<T> il,
                           const allocator_type& a = allocator_type() );

        // Assignment
        concurrent_vector& operator=( const concurrent_vector& x );
        template<class M>
        concurrent_vector& operator=( const concurrent_vector<T, M>& x );
        void assign( size_type n, const T& t );
        template<class InputIterator >
        void assign( InputIterator first, InputIterator last );
        // C++11 specific
        concurrent_vector& operator=( concurrent_vector&& x );
        concurrent_vector& operator=( std::initializer_list<T> il );
        void assign( std::initializer_list<T> il );

        // Concurrent growth operations
        iterator grow_by( size_type delta );
        iterator grow_by( size_type delta, const T& t );
        template<typename ForwardIterator>
        iterator grow_by( ForwardIterator first, ForwardIterator last );
        // C++11 specific
        iterator grow_by( std::initializer_list<T>& il )
        iterator grow_to_at_least( size_type n );
        iterator grow_to_at_least( size_type n, const T& t );
        iterator push_back( const T& item );
        // C++11 specific
        iterator push_back( T&& item );
        template<typename... Args>
        iterator emplace_back( Args&&... args);

        // Items access
        reference operator[]( size_type index );
        const_reference operator[]( size_type index ) const;
        reference at( size_type index );
        const_reference at( size_type index ) const;
        reference front();
        const_reference front() const;
        reference back();
        const_reference back() const;

        // Storage
        bool empty() const;
        size_type capacity() const;
        size_type max_size() const;
        size_type size() const;
        allocator_type get_allocator() const;

        // Non-concurrent operations on whole container
        void reserve( size_type n );
        void compact();
        void swap( concurrent_vector& vector );
        void clear();

        // Iterators
        iterator begin();
        iterator end();
        const_iterator begin() const;
        const_iterator end() const;
        reverse_iterator rbegin();
        reverse_iterator rend();
        const_reverse_iterator rbegin() const;
        const_reverse_iterator rend() const;
        // C++11 extensions
        const_iterator cbegin() const;
        const_iterator cend() const;
        const_reverse_iterator crbegin() const;
        const_reverse_iterator crend() const;

    // Global functions
    template<typename T, class A1, class A2>
    bool operator==( const concurrent_vector<T, A1>& a,
                     const concurrent_vector<T, A2>& b );

    template<typename T, class A1, class A2>
    bool operator!=( const concurrent_vector<T, A1>& a,
                     const concurrent_vector<T, A2>& b );

    template<typename T, class A1, class A2>
    bool operator<( const concurrent_vector<T, A1>& a,
                       const concurrent_vector<T, A2>& b );

    template<typename T, class A1, class A2>
    bool operator>( const concurrent_vector<T, A1>& a,
                       const concurrent_vector<T, A2>& b );

    template<typename T, class A1, class A2>
    bool operator<=( const concurrent_vector<T, A1>& a,
                        const concurrent_vector<T, A2>& b );

    template<typename T, class A1, class A2>
    bool operator>=( const concurrent_vector<T, A1>& a,
                        const concurrent_vector<T, A2>& b );

    template<typename T, class A>
    void swap( concurrent_vector<T, A>& a, concurrent_vector<T, A>& b);


The rebinding of allocator_type is similar to the Microsoft* and GNU* implementations of std::vector.

Exception Safety

Concurrent growing is fundamentally incompatible with ideal exception safety. Nonetheless, concurrent_vector offers a practical level of exception safety.

Element type T must meet the following requirements:

  • Its destructor must not throw an exception.

  • If its default constructor can throw an exception, its destructor must be non-virtual and work correctly on zero-filled memory.

Otherwise the program's behavior is undefined.

Growth and vector assignment append a sequence of elements to a vector. If an exception occurs, the impact on the vector depends upon the cause of the exception:

  • If the exception is thrown by the constructor of an element, then all subsequent elements in the appended sequence will be zero-filled.

  • Otherwise, the exception was thrown by the vector's allocator. The vector becomes broken. Each element in the appended sequence will be in one of three states:

    • constructed
    • zero-filled
    • unallocated in memory

Once a vector becomes broken, care must be taken when accessing it:

  • Accessing an unallocated element with the method at causes an exception std::range_error. Accessing an unallocated element using any other method has undefined behavior.

  • The values of capacity() and size() may be less than expected.

  • Access to a broken vector via back() has undefined behavior.

However, the following guarantees hold for broken or unbroken vectors:

  • Let k be an index of an unallocated element. Then size()<= capacity()<=k.

  • Growth operations never cause size() or capacity() to decrease.

If a concurrent growth operation successfully completes, the appended sequence remains valid and accessible even if a subsequent growth operations fails.


Unlike a std::vector, a concurrent_vector never moves existing elements when it grows. The container allocates a series of contiguous arrays. The first reservation, growth, or assignment operation determines the size of the first array. Using a small number of elements as initial size incurs fragmentation across cache lines that may increase element access time. The method shrink_to_fit()merges several smaller arrays into a single contiguous array, which may improve access time.

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.