A Type-and-Effect System for Shared Memory, Concurrent Implicit Invocation Systems

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2010-12-15
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Long, Yuheng
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Rajan, Hridesh
Professor and Department Chair of Computer Science
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Computer Science

Computer Science—the theory, representation, processing, communication and use of information—is fundamentally transforming every aspect of human endeavor. The Department of Computer Science at Iowa State University advances computational and information sciences through; 1. educational and research programs within and beyond the university; 2. active engagement to help define national and international research, and 3. educational agendas, and sustained commitment to graduating leaders for academia, industry and government.

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The Computer Science Department was officially established in 1969, with Robert Stewart serving as the founding Department Chair. Faculty were composed of joint appointments with Mathematics, Statistics, and Electrical Engineering. In 1969, the building which now houses the Computer Science department, then simply called the Computer Science building, was completed. Later it was named Atanasoff Hall. Throughout the 1980s to present, the department expanded and developed its teaching and research agendas to cover many areas of computing.

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1969-present

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Driven by the need to utilize multicore platforms, recent language designs aim to bring the concurrency advantages of events in distributed publish-subscribe systems to sequential OO programs that utilize the implicit invocation (II) design style. These proposals face two challenges. First, unlike the publish-subscribe paradigm where publisher and subscriber typically don't share state, communicating via shared state is common in II programs. Second, type-and-effect systems that are generally designed for statically reasoning about a program's execution are often too conservative to handle II that typically entails a virtual method invocation on zero or more dynamically registered handlers. To solve these problems, we present a novel hybrid type-and-effect system for exposing concurrency in programs that use II mechanisms. This type-and-effect system provides deadlock and data race freedom in such usage of II mechanisms. We have also implemented this type-and-effect system. An initial study shows its scalability benefits and acceptable costs.

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