Comparison of Scheduling Algorithms

By now, you must have understood how CPU can apply different scheduling algorithms to schedule processes. Now, let us examine the advantages and disadvantages of each scheduling algorithm.

First Come First Serve (FCFS)


  • FCFS algorithm doesn’t include any complex logic, it just puts the process requests in a queue and executes it one by one.
  • Hence, FCFS is pretty simple and easy to implement.
  • Eventually, every process will get a chance to run, so starvation doesn’t occur.


  • There is no option for pre-emption of a process. If a process is started, then CPU executes the process until it ends.
  • Because there is no pre-emption, if a process executes for a long time, the processes in the back of the queue will have to wait for a long time before they get a chance to be executed.

Shortest Job First (SJF)


  • According to the definition, short processes are executed first and then followed by longer processes.
  • The throughput is increased because more processes can be executed in less amount of time.


  • The time taken by a process must be known by the CPU beforehand, which is not possible.
  • Longer processes will have more waiting time, eventually they’ll suffer starvation.

Note: Preemptive Shortest Job First scheduling will have the same advantages and disadvantages as those for SJF.

Round Robin (RR)


  • Each process is served by the CPU for a fixed time quantum, so all processes are given the same priority.
  • Starvation doesn’t occur because for each round robin cycle, every process is given a fixed time to execute. No process is left behind.


  • The throughput in RR largely depends on the choice of the length of the time quantum. If time quantum is longer than needed, it tends to exhibit the same behavior as FCFS.
  • If time quantum is shorter than needed, the number of times that CPU switches from one process to another process, increases. This leads to decrease in CPU efficiency.

Priority based Scheduling


  • The priority of a process can be selected based on memory requirement, time requirement or user preference. For example, a high end game will have better graphics, that means the process which updates the screen in a game will have higher priority so as to achieve better graphics performance.


  • A second scheduling algorithm is required to schedule the processes which have same priority.
  • In preemptive priority scheduling, a higher priority process can execute ahead of an already executing lower priority process. If lower priority process keeps waiting for higher priority processes, starvation occurs.

Usage of Scheduling Algorithms in Different Situations:

Every scheduling algorithm has a type of a situation where it is the best choice. Let’s look at different such situations:

  • Situation 1: The incoming processes are short and there is no need for the processes to execute in a specific order.

    In this case, FCFS works best when compared to SJF and RR because the processes are short which means that no process will wait for a longer time. When each process is executed one by one, every process will be executed eventually.

  • Situation 2: The processes are a mix of long and short processes and the task will only be completed if all the processes are executed successfully in a given time.

    Round Robin scheduling works efficiently here because it does not cause starvation and also gives equal time quantum for each process.

  • Situation 3: The processes are a mix of user based and kernel based processes.

    Priority based scheduling works efficiently in this case because generally kernel based processes have higher priority when compared to user based processes.

    For example, the scheduler itself is a kernel based process, it should run first so that it can schedule other processes.