Computing Publications

Publications Home » Stage: Python with Actors

Stage: Python with Actors

J.W. Ayres, Susan Eisenbach

Conference or Workshop Paper
International Workshop on Multicore Software Engineering (IWMSE)
May, 2009

Programmers hoping to exploit multi-core processors must split their applications into threads suitable for independent, concurrent execution. The lock-based concurrency of many existing languages is clumsy and error prone – a barrier to writing fast and correct concurrent code.

The Actor model exudes concurrency – each entity in the model (an Actor) executes concurrently. Interaction is restricted to message passing which prevents many of the errors associated with shared mutable state and locking, the common alternative. By favouring message passing over method calling the Actor model makes distribution straightforward.

Early Actor-based languages enjoyed only moderate success, probably because they were before their time. More recent Actor languages have enjoyed greater success, the most successful being Erlang, but the language is functional; a paradigm unfamiliar to many programmers. There is a need for a language that presents a familiar and fast encoding of the Actor model. In this paper we present Stage, our mobile Actor language based on Python.

Language Design
Distributed Software Engineering
PDF of full publication (627 kilobytes)
(need help viewing PDF files?)
BibTEX file for the publication
Conditions for downloading publications from this site. built & maintained by Ashok Argent-Katwala.