How to initialize two dimensional array in worker thread script in node.js

August 01, 2019, at 9:50 PM

Iam writing a node.js application which calculates the leveshtein distance over multiple and long strings/texts. To improve the perfomance i setup some worker threads to share the workload. Worker initalization and data passing via workerData works just fine. Node.js version is v12.7.0 on Windows10 64-bit.

The problem is that for the levenshtein distance i need to initialize a matrix of size n+1 * m+1 where n and m are the lengths of the strings to compare. But when executing the code the threads get started but dont do anything over that. I pinned down the problem to the 2d array initalization which is not working. But i have no idea why.

I checked that the code works by trying it single threaded without any worker thread. No problem there. I also tried different 2d array initalizations but they all failed aswell. I tried to increase the memory since the matrix can get pretty big.

This is the levenshtein algo i use for the calculation. It gets called while looping over some nested maps provided via workerData.

function levenshteinAlgo(s, t) {
    if(s === undefined || t === undefined)
        return -1;
    if(typeof s !== "string" || typeof t !== "string") {
        return -1;
    let m = s.length;
    let n = t.length;
    //Both Array initializations and filling with zeroes dont work
    //And the application just freezes without errors.
    //let d = Array(m+1).fill().map(() => Array(n+1).fill(0));
    let d = [];
    for(let i = 0; i < (m + 1); i++) {
        d[i] = [];//d.push([]);
        for(let j = 0; j < (n + 1); j++) {
            d[i][j] = 0;    
    for(let i = 0; i < m; i++) {
        d[i][0] = i;
    for (let j = 0; j < n; j++) {
        d[0][j] = j;
    for (let i = 1; i <= m; i++) {
        for (let j = 1; j <= n; j++) {
            let cost = 0;
            if(s[i] === t[j]) {
                cost = 0;
            } else {
                cost = 1;
            d[i][j] = Math.min(d[i-1][j] + 1, //deletion
                Math.min(d[i][j-1] + 1, //insertion
                    d[i-1][j-1] + cost)); //substitution
    return d[m][n];

It should work since it does for single threaded execution in the normal node.js instance. At least i would expect an error message but i dont get any.

I just have to interrupt the programm. I further more cant really debug the application since no breakpoint is triggered in the workerthread.js file. I dont know how to setup Visual Studio Code for parallel programming with node.js. Iam pretty new to node.js in generall.

Thanks for any advice.

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