Customization of first-class tuple-spaces in a higher-order language

  • Suresh Jagannathan
Submitted Presentations
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 506)


A distributed data structure is an object which permits many producers to augment or modify its contents, and many consumers simultaneously to access its component elements. Synchronization is implicit in data structure access: a process that requests an element which has not yet been generated blocks until a producer creates it.

In this paper, we describe a parallel programming language (called T S) whose fundamental communication device is a significant generalization of the tuple-space distributed data structure found in the Linda coordination language[6]. Our sequential base language is a dialect of Scheme[19].

Beyond the fact that T S is derived by incorporating a tuple-space coordination language into a higher-order computation language (i.e., Scheme), T S differs from other tuple-space languages in two important ways:
  • Tuple-spaces are first-class objects. They may be dynamically created, bound to names, passed as arguments to (or returned as results from) functions, and built into other data structures or tuples.

  • The behavior of tuple-spaces may be customized. A tuple-space are manipulated via a policy closure that specify its operational characteristics. The representation of policy closures take significant advantage of Scheme's support for higher-order functions; there is no fundamental extension to Scheme needed in order to support them.

We argue that first-class customizable tuple-spaces provide an expressive and flexible medium for building parallel programs in higher-order languages.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suresh Jagannathan
    • 1
  1. 1.NEC Research InstitutePrinceton

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