Presentation on theme: "From Objects to Actors Study of a Limited Symbiosis in Smalltalk-80."— Presentation transcript:
From Objects to Actors Study of a Limited Symbiosis in Smalltalk-80
Actalk Minimal extension needed to introduce and study concurrency Jean-Pierre Briot
Goals Preservation No change made to Smalltalk-80 Minimality Extensibility Synergy The current model of objects and the extended set of actors should be compatible and able to cooperate Pedagogy
Computation Model of Smalltalk-80 Synchronous communication A single thread of activity which is passed among objects in a call/return fashion when sending messages. The sender is waiting for the reply from the receiver and remains blocked until this moment. Some tools for concurrency Processus + semaphores
Computation Model of Smalltalk-80 Environment of computation The environment of the object Bindings of instance variables, class variables... The environment of the message. Bindings of parameters The global environment Blocks Closure mechanism Delayed evaluation and abstraction Control structures
Computation Model of Smalltalk-80 Multiple activities Process Semaphores To protect the internal state of an object that is shared by multiple processes
From passive to active objects An active object is able to decide when and how it will compute the messages A serializer encapsulates an object and serializes the incoming messages in a message queue Actor = a serialized and active object.
Modeling an actor as a serialized object Message queue Object Actor
Implementing Actors in ST-80 Two classes : Actor and ActorBehavior Any ST-80 object may be used as a behavior of a new actor if its class is a subclass of ActorBehavior A background process will be created when creating the actor to implement the autonomy of the behavior of the actor. mailbox behavior aself
The (meta)class of Actor Actor class instanceVariableNames: ‘’ !Actor class methodFor: ‘instance creation and initialization’! behavior: aBehavior ^self new initializeBehavior: aBehavior new ^super new initialize
The class ActorBehavior OBject subclass: #ActorBehavior instanceVariableNames: ‘aself’ classVariableNames: ‘’ poolDictionaries: ‘’ Category ‘Actors’ !ActorBehavior methodFor: ‘initialization’! initializeAself: anActor aself := anActor. self setProcess setProcess [[true] whileTrue: [self acceptNextMessage]] fork !ActorBehavior methodFor: ‘message acceptance’! acceptNextMessage self acceptMessage: aself mailbox next acceptMessage: aMessage self performMessage: aMessage The process is suspended and resumed when there is a message by the semaphore synchronizing the availability of message(s) in the shared queue
Support Method !Class methodFor: ‘recopying method’! copyMethodSelector: selector inClass: self class compile: (self sourceCodeAt: selector) classified: (self whichCategoryIncludeSelector: aSelector)
How to create an actor ? !ActorBehavior methodFor: ‘actor creation’! 1st choice : create an actor from an instance of ActorBehavior actor ^Actor behavior: self 2nd choice : creating an actor from the model of behavior by redefining the new method new ^Actor behavior: super new 3nd choice : creating an actor from the model of behavior by creating a new selector newActor ^Actor behavior: self new
Compatibility with initialization !Counter class methodFor: ‘instance creation’! new ^super new reset !Counter class methodFor: ‘instance creation and initialization’! contents: anInteger ^self new contents: anInteger !Counter methodFor: ‘iv access’! contents: anInteger contents := anInteger What happens for each of the three approaches to actor creation?
Symbiosis between objects and actors Sending a message to an actor Interpreted as asynchronous send Sending a message to objects Synchronous control The target of the message defines the semantics of message passing
Delegation Sub-computation can be passed on by an actor to another actor which continues the processing. Delegation promotes modularity of the code.
Reply Destination and Delegation ActorBehavior subclass: #Printer instanceVariableNames: ‘’ classVariablesNames: ‘’ poolDIctionaries: ‘’ category: ‘Actor-Examples’ !Printer methodFor: ‘script’! reply: value Transcript show: ‘> ‘, value printString; cr! ! Printer class methodsFor: ‘initialization’! intialize Smalltalk at: #Print put: self new actor! ! Printer initialize!
Reply Destination and Delegation !Counter methodFor: ‘script’ consultAndReplyTo: replyDestination replyDestination reply: contents! ! !Counter class methodsFor: ‘example’! example (Counter contents: 100) actor incr; incr; consultAndReplyTo: Print! !
Exploitation of Concurrency The Prime Number Example ActorBehavior subclass: #PrimeGenerator instanceVariables: ‘firstPrimeFilter’ initialize firstPrimeFilter := (PrimeFilter n: 2) actor upTo: max 2 to: max do: [:i | firstPrimeFilter filter: i] PrimeGenerator class new ^super new initialize example PrimeGenerator new actor upTo: 100
Exploitation of Concurrency The Prime Number Example ActorBehavior subclass: #PrimeFilter instanceVariables: ‘n next’ n: aPrimeNumber n := aPrimeNumber filter: i i \\ n = 0 ifFalse: [next isNil ifTrue: [Print reply: i. next := (PrimeFilter n: i) actor] ifFalse: [next filter: i]] PrimeFilter class n: n ^self new n: n
References Briot, Jean-Pierre, From Objects to Actors: Study of a Limited Symbiosis in Smalltalk-80, LITP 88-58 RXF, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France, sept. 1988.From Objects to Actors: Study of a Limited Symbiosis in Smalltalk-80