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In information technology and computer science, especially in the fields of computer programming, operating systems, multiprocessors, and databases, concurrency control ensures that correct results for concurrent operations are generated, while getting those results as quickly as possible.
Computer systems, both software and hardware, consist of modules, or components. Each component is designed to operate correctly, i.e., to obey or to meet certain consistency rules. When components that operate concurrently interact by messaging or by sharing accessed data (in memory or storage), a certain component's consistency may be violated by another component. The general area of concurrency control provides rules, methods, design methodologies, and theories to maintain the consistency of components operating concurrently while interacting, and thus the consistency and correctness of the whole system. Introducing concurrency control into a system means applying operation constraints which typically result in some performance reduction. Operation consistency and correctness should be achieved with as good as possible efficiency, without reducing performance below reasonable levels. Concurrency control can require significant additional complexity and overhead in a concurrent algorithm compared to the simpler sequential algorithm.
For example, a failure in concurrency control can result in data corruption from torn read or write operations.