Panini: Reconciling Concurrency and Modularity in Design

By: Yuheng Long, Sean Mooney, Tyler Sondag, and Hridesh Rajan

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Abstract

Writing correct and efficient concurrent programs still remains a challenge. Explicit concurrency is difficult, error prone, and creates code which is hard to maintain and debug. This type of concurrency also treats modular program design and concurrency as separate goals, where modularity often suffers. To solve these problems, we are designing a new language that we call panini. In this paper, we focus on panini’s asynchronous, typed events which reconcile the modularity goal promoted by the implicit invocation design style with the concurrency goal of exposing potential concurrency between the execution of subjects and observers. Since modularity is improved and concurrency is implicit in panini, programs are easy to reason about and maintain. Furthermore, races and deadlocks are avoided entirely yielding programs with a guaranteed sequential semantics. To evaluate our language design and implementation we show several examples of its usage as well as an empirical study of program performance. We found that not only is developing and understanding panini programs significantly easier compared to standard concurrent object-oriented programs, but performance of panini programs is comparable to the equivalent programs written using Java’s fork-join framework.

Other Info

This technical report is superceded by the following research paper: GPCE ‘10

ACM Reference

Long, Y. et al. 2010. Panini: Reconciling Concurrency and Modularity in Design. Technical Report #09-28b. Iowa State University, Department of Computer Science.

BibTeX Reference

@techreport{long2010panini,
  author = {Yuheng Long and Sean Mooney and Tyler Sondag and Hridesh Rajan},
  title = {Panini: Reconciling Concurrency and Modularity in Design},
  institution = {Iowa State University, Department of Computer Science},
  year = {2010},
  number = {09-28b},
  month = {March},
  abstract = {
    Writing correct and efficient concurrent programs still remains a challenge.
    Explicit concurrency is difficult, error prone, and creates code which is hard
    to maintain and debug. This type of concurrency also treats modular program
    design and concurrency as separate goals, where modularity often suffers. To
    solve these problems, we are designing a new language that we call panini. In
    this paper, we focus on panini's asynchronous, typed events which reconcile
    the modularity goal promoted by the implicit invocation design style with the
    concurrency goal of exposing potential concurrency between the execution of
    subjects and observers. Since modularity is improved and concurrency is
    implicit in panini, programs are easy to reason about and maintain.
    Furthermore, races and deadlocks are avoided entirely yielding programs with a
    guaranteed sequential semantics. To evaluate our language design and
    implementation we show several examples of its usage as well as an empirical
    study of program performance. We found that not only is developing and
    understanding panini programs significantly easier compared to standard
    concurrent object-oriented programs, but performance of panini programs is
    comparable to the equivalent programs written using Java's fork-join
    framework.
  }
}