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  • 1.
    Brandauer, Stephan
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Castegren, Elias
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Clarke, Dave
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Fernandez-Reyes, Kiko
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Johnsen, Einar Broch
    Univ Oslo, Dept Informat, N-0316 Oslo, Norway..
    Pun, Ka I.
    Univ Oslo, Dept Informat, N-0316 Oslo, Norway..
    Tarifa, S. Lizeth Tapia
    Univ Oslo, Dept Informat, N-0316 Oslo, Norway..
    Wrigstad, Tobias
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Yang, Albert Mingkun
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Parallel Objects for Multicores: A Glimpse at the Parallel Language ENCORE2015In: Formal Methods for Multicore Programming, 2015, p. 1-56Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The age of multi-core computers is upon us, yet current programming languages, typically designed for single-core computers and adapted post hoc for multi-cores, remain tied to the constraints of a sequential mindset and are thus in many ways inadequate. New programming language designs are required that break away from this old-fashioned mindset. To address this need, we have been developing a new programming language called Encore, in the context of the European Project UpScale. The paper presents a motivation for the Encore language, examples of its main constructs, several larger programs, a formalisation of its core, and a discussion of some future directions our work will take. The work is ongoing and we started more or less from scratch. That means that a lot of work has to be done, but also that we need not be tied to decisions made for sequential language designs. Any design decision can be made in favour of good performance and scalability. For this reason, Encore offers an interesting platform for future exploration into object-oriented parallel programming.

  • 2.
    Castegren, Elias
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science. KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
    Clarke, Dave
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Fernandez-Reyes, Kiko
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Wrigstad, Tobias
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Yang, Albert Mingkun
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Attached and Detached Closures in Actors2018In: 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 (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.

  • 3. De Boer, Frank
    et al.
    Serbanescu, Vlad
    Hähnle, Reiner
    Henrio, Ludovic
    Rochas, Justine
    Din, Crystal Chang
    Johnsen, Einar Broch
    Sirjani, Marjan
    Khamespanah, Ehsan
    Fernández-Reyes, Kiko
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Yang, Albert Mingkun
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    A survey of active object languages2017In: ACM Computing Surveys, ISSN 0360-0300, E-ISSN 1557-7341, Vol. 50, no 5, article id 76Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To program parallel systems efficiently and easily, a wide range of programming models have been proposed, eachwith different choices concerning synchronization and communication between parallel entities. Among them, the actor model is based on loosely coupled parallel entities that communicate by means of asynchronous messages and mailboxes. Some actor languages provide a strong integration with object-oriented concepts; these are often called active object languages. This article reviews four major actor and active object languages and compares them according to carefully chosen dimensions that cover central aspects of the programming paradigms and their implementation.

  • 4.
    Fernandez-Reyes, Kiko
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Clarke, Dave
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Affine killing: Semantics for stopping the ParT2017In: Proc. 2nd International Workshop on Type-Driven Development, New York: ACM Press, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Speculative, parallel abstractions allow that, once a result is computed, the remaining (unnecessary) speculative computations can be safely stopped. However, it is difficult to know when it is safe to stop an ongoing computation. This paper presents a refinement of the parallel speculative ParT abstraction with an affine type system that allows in-place updates, and killing speculative computations using thread-local reasoning. There is ongoing work to prove the soundness of the calculus and implement it in the Encore language.

  • 5.
    Fernandez-Reyes, Kiko
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Clarke, Dave
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Castegren, Elias
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Vo, Huu-Phuc
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Forward to a Promising Future2018In: Conference proceedings COORDINATION 2018, 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In many actor-based programming models, asynchronous method calls communicate their results using futures, where the fulfilment occurs under-the-hood. Promises play a similar role to futures, except that they must be explicitly created and explicitly fulfilled; this makes promises more flexible than futures, though promises lack fulfilment guarantees: they can be fulfilled once, multiple times or not at all. Unfortunately, futures are too rigid to exploit many available concurrent and parallel patterns. For instance, many computations block on a future to get its result only to return that result immediately (to fulfil their own future). To make futures more flexible, we explore a construct, forward, that delegates the responsibility for fulfilling the current implicit future to another computation. Forward reduces synchronisation and gives futures promise-like capabilities. This paper presents a formalisation of the forward construct, defined in a high-level source language, and a compilation strategy from the high-level language to a low-level, promised-based target language. The translation is shown to preserve semantics. Based on this foundation, we describe the implementation of forward in the parallel, actor-based language Encore, which compiles to C.

  • 6.
    Fernandez-Reyes, Kiko
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Clarke, Dave
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Hornbach, Janina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    The impact of opt-in gamification on students' grades in a software design course2018In: Proceedings of the 21st ACM/IEEE International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems: Companion Proceedings, New York, NY, USA: ACM Publications, 2018, p. -97Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An achievement-driven methodology strives to give students more control of their learning with enough flexibility to engage them in deeper learning.

    We observed in the course Advanced Software Design, which uses the achievement-driven methodology, that students fail to get high grades, which may hamper deeper learning. To motivate students to pursue and get higher grades we added gamification elements to the course.

    To measure the success of our gamification implementation, students filled out a questionaire rating the enjoyment and motivation produced by the game. We built a statistical regression model where enjoyment and motivation explain 55% of the variation in grades. However, only the relationship between motivation and grade is significant, which implies that notivation drives the overall effect of the model. The results suggest that the more the students were motivated by the game, the higher their grades on the course (and vice versa). This implies that if gamification indeed motivates students, then it makes them go beyond what is expected.

  • 7.
    Fernandez-Reyes, Kiko
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    Clarke, Dave
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Science.
    McCain, Daniel S.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology.
    ParT: An asynchronous parallel abstraction for speculative pipeline computations2016In: Coordination Models and Languages / [ed] Lafuente, AL; Proenca, J, Springer, 2016, p. 101-120Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ubiquity of multicore computers has forced programming language designers to rethink how languages express parallelism and concurrency. This has resulted in new language constructs and new combinations or revisions of existing constructs. In this line, we extended the programming languages Encore (actor-based), and Clojure (functional) with an asynchronous parallel abstraction called ParT, a data structure that can dually be seen as a collection of asynchronous values (integrating with futures) or a handle to a parallel computation, plus a collection of combinators for manipulating the data structure. The combinators can express parallel pipelines and speculative parallelism. This paper presents a typed calculus capturing the essence of ParT, abstracting away from details of the Encore and Clojure programming languages. The calculus includes tasks, futures, and combinators similar to those of Orc but implemented in a non-blocking fashion. Furthermore, the calculus strongly mimics how ParT is implemented, and it can serve as the basis for adaptation of ParT into different languages and for further extensions.

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