A Study of Concurrency Bugs and Advanced Development Support for Actor-based Programs

  • Carmen Torres Lopez
  • Stefan Marr
  • Elisa Gonzalez Boix
  • Hanspeter Mössenböck
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10789)


The actor model is an attractive foundation for developing concurrent applications because actors are isolated concurrent entities that communicate through asynchronous messages and do not share state. Thereby, they avoid concurrency bugs such as data races, but are not immune to concurrency bugs in general.

This study taxonomizes concurrency bugs in actor-based programs reported in literature. Furthermore, it analyzes the bugs to identify the patterns causing them as well as their observable behavior. Based on this taxonomy, we further analyze the literature and find that current approaches to static analysis and testing focus on communication deadlocks and message protocol violations. However, they do not provide solutions to identify livelocks and behavioral deadlocks.

The insights obtained in this study can be used to improve debugging support for actor-based programs with new debugging techniques to identify the root cause of complex concurrency bugs.


Actor model Concurrency Bugs Survey 



This research is funded by a collaboration grant of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) with the project I2491-N31 and the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO Belgium) with the project number G004816N.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Torres Lopez
    • 1
  • Stefan Marr
    • 3
  • Elisa Gonzalez Boix
    • 1
  • Hanspeter Mössenböck
    • 2
  1. 1.Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselBelgium
  2. 2.Johannes Kepler UniversityLinzAustria
  3. 3.University of KentCanterburyUK

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