Actor Semantics of PLANNER-73
This report describes research done at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Support for the laboratory's artificial intelligence research is provided in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense under Office of Naval Research contract N00014-70-A-0362-0005.
Work on PLANNER-73 and actors has led to the development of a basis for semantics of programming languages. Its value in describing programs with side-effects, parallelism, and synchronization is discussed. Formal definitions are written and explained for sequences, cells, and a simple synchronization primitive. In addition there is discussion of the implications of actor semantics for the controversy over elimination of side-effects.