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Attached and Detached Closures in Actors
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science. KTH Royal Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4918-6582
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
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2018 (English)In: Proceedings of the 8th ACM SIGPLAN International Workshop on Programming Based on Actors, Agents, and Decentralized Control, ACM Digital Library, 2018, p. 54-61Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Expressive actor models combine aspects of functional programming into the pure actor model enriched with futures. Such functional features include first-class closures which can be passed between actors and chained on futures. Combined with mutable objects, this opens the door to race conditions. In some situations, closures may not be evaluated by the actor that created them yet may access fields or objects owned by that actor. In other situations, closures may be safely fired off to run as a separate task.

This paper discusses the problem of who can safely evaluate a closure to avoid race conditions, and presents the current solution to the problem adopted by the Encore language. The solution integrates with Encore's capability type system, which influences whether a closure is attached and must be evaluated by the creating actor, or whether it can be detached and evaluated independently of its creator.

Encore's current solution to this problem is not final or optimal. We conclude by discussing a number of open problems related to dealing with closures in the actor model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ACM Digital Library, 2018. p. 54-61
Keywords [en]
closures, parallel programming, concurrent programming, type systems
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-367318DOI: 10.1145/3281366.3281371ISI: 000458146800006ISBN: 978-1-4503-6066-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-367318DiVA, id: diva2:1266950
Conference
AGERE'18 (8th ACM SIGPLAN International Workshop on Programming Based on Actors, Agents, and Decentralized Control), Boston, MA, USA, November 05, 2018
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-4967Swedish Research Council, 2014-05545Available from: 2018-11-29 Created: 2018-11-29 Last updated: 2019-02-28Bibliographically approved

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Castegren, EliasClarke, DaveFernandez-Reyes, KikoWrigstad, TobiasYang, Albert Mingkun

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