Meta-evaluation of Actors with Side-effects
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 N000-14-74-C-0643.
Meta-evaluation is a process which symbolically evaluates an actor and checks to see whether the actor fulfills its contract (specification). A formalism for writing contracts for actors with side-effects which allow sharing of data is presented. Typical examples of actors with side-effects are the cell, actor counterparts of the LISP function rplaca and rplacd, and procedures whose computation depends upon their input history. Meta-evaluation of actors with side-effects is carried out by using situational tags which denotes a situation (local state of an actor systems at the moment of the transmissions of messages). It is illustrated how the situational tags are used for proving the termination of the activation of actors.