Towards an Actor-based Concurrent Machine Model

Already quite a while ago, I was involved in writing a workshop paper about an actor model for virtual machines. Actually, the main idea was to find a concurrency model for a VM which supports multi-dimensional separation of concerns. However, AOP is not that interesting for me at the moment, so I am focussing on the concurrency, especially the actor-based VM model.

After one year, I am back looking at that paper, and it still looks like a great model. Think, I will incorporate it into my manycore VM now 🙂


In this position paper we propose to extend an existing delegation-based machine model with concurrency primitives. The original machine model which is built on the concepts of objects, messages, and delegation, provides support for languages enabling multi-dimensional separation of concerns (MDSOC). We propose to extend this model with an actor-based concurrency model, allowing for both true parallelism as well as lightweight concurrency primitives such as coroutines. In order to demonstrate its expressiveness, we informally describe how three high-level languages supporting different concurrency models can be mapped onto our extended machine model. We also provide an outlook on the extended model’s potential to support concurrency-related MDSOC features.

  • Towards an Actor-based Concurrent Machine Model, Hans Schippers, Tom Van Cutsem, Stefan Marr, Michael Haupt, Robert Hirschfeld, Proceedings of the fourth workshop on the Implementation, Compilation, Optimization of Object-Oriented Languages, Programs and Systems (ICOOOLPS), New York, NY, USA, ACM (2009), p. 4–9.
  • Paper: PDF
    ©ACM, 2009. This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in ICOOOLPS’09 July 6, 2009, Genova, Italy.
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2 Responses to “Towards an Actor-based Concurrent Machine Model”

  1. Jan Schäfer May 28, 2010 at 07:03 #

    You might be interested in the cobox model, which has a very similar concurrency model. On ECOOP’10, I will present a paper on it. You can find a preprint here:

  2. Stefan May 28, 2010 at 09:50 #

    Thanks for the link, will have a look at it.