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2009-05-04

Actors in a New "Highly Parallel" World

I had my 1st scientific paper published in the proceedings of 2nd ACM/IEEE ICSE Warm-Up Workshop. Basically it describes my current, and ongoing, MSc research project, at the Polelo Research Group of the University of Pretoria, that is focused on the Actor-Model of concurrency.
Visit here to get a copy of the paper and here to see the slides of my presentation at the workshop, that happened in parallel with the 5th IFIP TC2 Summer School on Software Technology, from Mar/30th to Apr/03rd in Strand, South Africa. Visit the site for more information about the programme of both events.
Your comments are welcome.

ABSTRACT: "The actor-model of computation was forged 25 years ago and, despite its natural fitness for concurrent programming, it never got traction on mainstream programming languages and as a widespread programming technique, it has been restricted mainly to academic experiments. The functional programming paradigm, available since the inception of the first high-level programming languages, despite the success of some of its languages, mostly on the academic environment, and its natural ability to avoid the inherent problems of concurrency, also never got traction on commercial development, being overshadowed by the proliferation of imperative languages. Recently, Moore's Law reached a limit and, as an alternative way of evolving processors, multi-core ones were developed, turning parallel systems into commodity. This paper presents the guidelines of research that is being conducted in response to the actual software engineering crisis, on how to effectively exploit this new highly parallel world of multi-core processors on computers and other devices. In search of an effective and efficient concurrent programming model, currently available actor-model implementations will be scrutinized in order to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses against the omnipresent shared-state, multi-threaded model of concurrent programming."