, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 207-243

CODEWEAVE: Exploring Fine-Grained Mobility of Code

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This paper is concerned with an abstract exploration of code mobility constructs designed for use in settings where the level of granularity associated with the mobile units exhibits significant variability. Units of mobility that are both finer and coarser grained than the unit of execution are examined. To accomplish this, we take the extreme view that every line of code and every variable declaration are potentially mobile, i.e., it may be duplicated or moved from one program context to another on the same host or across the network. We also assume that complex code assemblies may move with equal ease. The result is CODEWEAVE, a model that shows how to develop new forms of code mobility, assign them precise meaning, and facilitate formal verification of programs employing them. The design of CODEWEAVE relies greatly on Mobile UNITY, a notation and proof logic for mobile computing. Mobile UNITY offers a computational milieu for examining a wide range of constructs and semantic alternatives in a clean abstract setting, i.e., unconstrained by compilation and performance considerations traditionally associated with programming language design. Ultimately, the notation offered by CODEWEAVE is given exact semantic definition by means of a direct mapping to the underlying Mobile UNITY model. The abstract and formal treatment of code mobility offered by CODEWEAVE establishes a technical foundation for examining competing proposals and for subsequent integration of some of the mobility constructs both at the language level and within middleware for mobility.