Paper by Erik D. Demaine

Erik D. Demaine, “Higher-Order Concurrency in PVM”, in Proceedings of the Cluster Computing Conference (CCC'97), Atlanta, Georgia, March 9–12, 1997.

Message-passing systems are typically used to achieve high-performance parallel computing. In this paper we examine how advanced concurrent programming can be achieved using existing message-passing systems. In particular, we look at Reppy's extension to Hoare's basic CSP model, called higher-order concurrency, where communication events (such as send, receive and non-deterministic choice) are first-class just like normal program variables (e.g., integers), that is, they can be created at run-time, assigned to variables, and passed to and returned from functions. This allows the construction of high-level concurrent features without explicit support for them in the model itself. We see how first-class events can be implemented in PVM, showing that it forms the base of a powerful concurrent-programming language. We also provide garbage-collection of processes, which simplifies selective communication and dealing with end-cases. The implementation promotes more widespread use of the flexibility present in the higher-order-concurrency model, and allows multiple processors to be exploited in such programs.

The paper is 17 pages and the talk is 25 minutes.

The paper is available in PostScript (202k).
The talk is also available in PostScript (130k).
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Related papers:
WoTUG20 (Higher-Order Concurrency in Java)
IPPS98 (Protocols for Non-Deterministic Communication over Synchronous Channels)
ProtocolsTR (Adaptive Protocols for Negotiating Non-Deterministic Choice over Synchronous Channels)

See also other papers by Erik Demaine.
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Last updated July 25, 2017 by Erik Demaine.