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Composition of Interacting Computations

  • Farhad Arbab

Summary

The field of programming has been concerned with software composition since its very inception. Our models for software composition have brought us up to a new plateau of software complexity and composition. To tackle the challenges of composition at this level requires new models for software composition centered on interaction as a first-class concept. Interaction has been studied as an inseparable concern within concurrency theory. Curiously, however, interaction has not been seriously considered as a first-class concept in constructive models of computation.

Composition of systems out of autonomous subsystems pivots on coordination concerns that center on interaction. Coordination models and languages represent a recent approach to design and development of concurrent systems. In this chapter, we present a brief overview of coordination models and languages, followed by a framework for their classification. We then focus on a specific coordination language, called Reo, and demonstrate how it provides a powerful and expressive model for flexible composition of behavior through interaction.

Reo serves as a good example of a constructive model of computation that treats interaction as a (in fact, the only) first-class concept. It uniquely focuses on the compositional construction of connectors that enable and coordinate the interactions among the constituents in a concurrent system, without their knowledge. We show how Reo allows complex behavior in a system to emerge as a composition of primitive interactions.

Keywords

Data Item Coordination Model Tuple Space Abstract Data Type Dine Philosopher 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farhad Arbab
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI)AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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