Concurrent Systems Need Both Sequences And Serializers

Unknown author (1979-02)

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 Office of Naval Research of the Department of Defense under contract N00014-75-C-0522.

Working Paper

Contemporary concurrent programming languages fall roughly into two classes. Languages in the first class support the notion of a sequence of values and some kind of pipelining operation over the sequence of values. Languages in the second class support the notion of transactions and some way to serialize transactions. In terms of the actor model of computation this distinction corresponds to the difference between serialized and unserialized actors. In this paper the utility of modeling both serialized and unserialized actors in a coherent formalism is demonstrated.