Open Systems Laboratory at Illinois

Modeling concurrent systems: actors, nets, and the problem of abstraction and composition

By Gul Agha. In Application and Theory of Petri Nets, volume 1091 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 1–10. Springer, 1996.

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This paper reviews the state of the art in building and reasoning about concurrent system using actors. We first provide a brief definition of actors and discuss the status of actor theory. We then describe a number of programming abstractions that are useful in developing and maintaining complex concurrent systems. Defining such abstractions requires a sort of system decomposition that is not supported by standard models of concurrency, including actors and nets. Rather a suitable meta-architecture is needed and its satisfactory formal definition remains elusive. We currently have only rudimentary semantics for the different programming abstractions that we have developed.


    author = "Agha, Gul",
    editor = "Billington, Jonathan and Reisig, Wolfgang",
    title = "Modeling Concurrent Systems: Actors, Nets, and the
             Problem of Abstraction and Composition",
    booktitle = "Application and Theory of Petri Nets",
    crossref = "conf/apn/1996",
    ee = "",
    pages = "1-10",
    year = "1996",

    editor = "Billington, Jonathan and Reisig, Wolfgang",
    title = "Application and Theory of Petri Nets 1996, 17th
             International Conference, Osaka, Japan, June 24-28, 1996,
    isbn = "3-540-61363-3",
    publisher = "Springer",
    series = "Lecture Notes in Computer Science",
    volume = "1091",
    year = "1996",