Using 100% CPU effortlessly in Java: submit all your tasks to thread pool and wait for completion.


Recently, I used thread pool to do intensive computation. I’ve 11G of raw data stored as files and I need to extract information from it as fast as possible. As you can imagine, using Java concurrency correctly become important in use case. This article explains how I use ExecutorService#invokeAll() method to use 100% CPU effortlessly.

Note that this article only covers the case where all tasks are defined before getting started and no new task is added during the execution. Java 8 is used.

Create Thread Pool

Before the computation, create a thread pool that reuses a fixed number of threads operating off a shared unbounded queue. At any point, at most nThreads threads will be active processing tasks. If any thread terminates due to a failure during execution prior to shutdown, a new one will take its place if needed to execute subsequent tasks. The threads in the pool will exist until it is explicitly shutdown().

In my case, I use exactly the same number of threads as the number of processors available to the Java virtual machine. It allows to have one thread per processor, so that thread switching can be avoided.

int nThreads = Runtime.getRuntime().availableProcessors();
ExecutorService threadPool = Executors.newFixedThreadPool(nThreads);

Note that the number of available processors in JVM is the number of logical CPUs in your machine. You can check it using the following commands.


$ lscpu | grep -E '^Thread|^CPU\('
CPU(s):                4
Thread(s) per core:    2

Mac OS:

$ sysctl hw.physicalcpu hw.logicalcpu
hw.physicalcpu: 2
hw.logicalcpu: 4



Submit Tasks

ExecutorService accepts a collection of Callable<T> as input for method invokeAll():

<T> List<Future<T>> invokeAll(Collection<? extends Callable<T>> tasks)
    throws InterruptedException;

So you should create a class (separated, anonymous, or lambda) which implements the Callable<T> interface. Then, submit them into thread pool. Here’s what I did (simplified):

public class MyTask implements Callable<MyResult> {

  private final Path path;

  public MyTask(Path path) {
    this.path = path;

  public MyResult call() {
// prepare
List<MyTask> tasks = new ArrayList<>();
while (!paths.isEmpty()) {
  Path = paths.poll();
  tasks.add(new MyTask(p));
// invoke
List<Future<MyResult>> futures = threadPool.invokeAll(tasks);

During Execution

If you want to monitor the execution progress, there’re several ways to do it.

Watch the logs. You can watch the logs. Each log entry has a thread name, and from there you can know which task is being executed by which thread. By default, the thread name created by default thread factory (java.util.concurrent.Executors.DefaultThreadFactory). It starts with “pool-N” and follows by “thread-M”, where N is the sequence number of this factory and M is the sequence number of the thread created by this factory.


For example:

2019-01-29 21:54:22.172 [pool-1-thread-4] INFO  MyTask - ...
2019-01-29 21:54:22.172 [pool-1-thread-3] INFO  MyTask - ...
2019-01-29 21:54:22.172 [pool-1-thread-1] INFO  MyTask - ...
2019-01-29 21:54:22.172 [pool-1-thread-2] INFO  MyTask - ...
2019-01-29 21:54:22.331 [pool-1-thread-3] INFO  MyTask - ...
2019-01-29 21:54:22.352 [pool-1-thread-2] INFO  MyTask - ...
2019-01-29 21:54:22.364 [pool-1-thread-1] INFO  MyTask - ...

I’m using Log4J, and the conversion pattern is the following, where %t represents the thread name:

%d{yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss.SSS} [%t] %-5p %c{1} - %m%n

Using JConsole. From your terminal, use command jconsole to open JConsole (Java Monitoring & Management Console). Then connect to the specific JVM using its process ID (PID). If you don’t know it, use jps to find it out. Once connect, go to tab “Threads” and you will see the detail about threads.

Monitoring using JConsole

Using JStack. From your terminal, use command jstack <pid> to do a thread dump, which allows to understand what happens at the moment T.

Completion: All Tasks Done

Thread pool returns a list of Futures holding their status and results when all complete. Future#isDone is true for each element of the returned list. Note that a completed task could have terminated either normally or by throwing an exception. The results of this method are undefined if the given collection is modified while this operation is in progress.

List<Future<MyResult>> futures = threadPool.invokeAll(tasks);

You can perform post-actions by retrieving result T from Future<T>. For example, analyse the results of all futures: how many tasks were successful, how many were failed etc.

for (Future<MyResult> future : futures) {
  if (!future.isCancelled()) {
    try {
      MyResult r = future.get();
      // TODO: Add post-invoke logic
    } catch (ExecutionException e) {
      logger.error("Failed to get result", e);
    } catch (InterruptedException e) {
      logger.error("Interrupted", e);


After having processed all the tasks, you need to shutdown the thread pool manually in your code. Method shutdown() initiates an orderly shutdown in which previously submitted tasks are executed, but no new tasks will be accepted. Invocation has no additional effect if already shut down.


This method does not wait for previously submitted tasks to complete execution (use awaitTermination() to do that). However, in our case, it’s fine because invokeAll() guarantees that all tasks are done before returning the results.


In this article, we saw how to create a fixed thread pool, submit tasks, invoke all tasks, monitoring the execution, perform post-action and shutdown the thread pool. Hope you enjoy this article, see you the next time!