Parallel Distributed Infrastructure for Minimization of Energy

Dynamic Message Processing and Transactional Memory in the Actor Model

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


IFIP International Conference on Distributed Applications and Interoperable Systems, DAIS, IFIP, Grenoble, France (2015)


With the trend of ever growing data centers and scaling core
counts, simple programming models for efficient distributed and concurrent
programming are required. One of the successful principles for scalable
computing is the actor model, which is based on message passing.
Actors are objects that hold local state that can only be modi fied by the
exchange of messages. To avoid typical concurrency hazards, each actor
processes messages sequentially. However, this limits the scalability of the
model. We have shown in former work that concurrent message processing
can be implemented with the help of transactional memory, ensuring
sequential processing, when required. This approach is advantageous in
low contention phases, however, does not scale for high contention phases.
In this paper we introduce a combination of dynamic resource allocation
and non-transactional message processing to overcome this limitation.
This allows for efficient resource utilization as these two mechanisms can
be handled in parallel. We show that we can substantially reduce the
execution time of high-contention workloads in a micro-benchmark as
well as in a real-world application.