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livelock in Technology

/li:v'lok/ When two or more processes continuously change their state in response to changes in the other process(es) without doing any useful work.
This is similar to deadlock in that no progress is made but differs in that neither process is blocked or waiting for anything.
A human example of livelock would be two people who meet face-to-face in a corridor and each moves aside to let the other pass, but they end up swaying from side to side without making any progress because they always move the same way at the same time.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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