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Linear Types for Packet Processing

  • Conference paper

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS,volume 2986)


We present PacLang: an imperative, concurrent, linearly-typed language designed for expressing packet processing applications. PacLang’s linear type system ensures that no packet is referenced by more than one thread, but allows multiple references to a packet within a thread. We argue (i) that this property greatly simplifies compilation of high-level programs to the distributed memory architectures of modern Network Processors; and (ii) that PacLang’s type system captures that style in which imperative packet processing programs are already written. Claim (ii) is justified by means of a case-study: we describe a PacLang implementation of the IPv4 unicast packet forwarding algorithm.

PacLang is formalised by means of an operational semantics and a Unique Ownership theorem formalises its correctness with respect to the type system.


  • Operational Semantic
  • Memory Bank
  • Network Packet
  • Ownership Type
  • Linear Type

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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© 2004 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Ennals, R., Sharp, R., Mycroft, A. (2004). Linear Types for Packet Processing. In: Schmidt, D. (eds) Programming Languages and Systems. ESOP 2004. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 2986. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-540-21313-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-540-24725-8

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive