Mianjin: A Parallel Language with a Type System That Governs Global System Behaviour
For the past few years we have been working on a parallel programming language, Mianjin, suitable for writing parallel programs for non-dedicated networks of workstations. This paper reviews an innovative feature of the language, a type system that statically enforces global system behaviour. This is achieved by typing the behaviour of commands, thereby differentiating commands that may admit communication from those that do not. Doing this guarantees safe asynchronous communications; in particular it prevents deadlocks caused by exhaustion of system-level communication resources (such as buffers) which are beyond an application programmer’s control. These command types propagate though client and library code thereby simplifying some problems associated with constructing software components. The type system is semi-formally described using type rules, and some further applications of the idea to software components are discussed.
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