Sequentially Constructive Concurrency : A Conservative Extension of the Synchronous Model of Computation

Synchronous languages ensure deterministic concurrency, but at the price of heavy restrictions on what programs are considered valid, or constructive. Meanwhile, sequential languages such as C and Java offer an intuitive, familiar programming paradigm but provide no guarantees with regard to deterministic concurrency. The sequentially constructive model of computation (SC MoC) presented here harnesses the synchronous execution model to achieve deterministic concurrency while addressing concerns that synchronous languages are unnecessarily restrictive and difficult to adopt. In essence, the SC MoC extends the classical synchronous MoC by allowing variables to be read and written in any order as long as sequentiality expressed in the program provides sufficient scheduling information to rule out race conditions. This allows to use programming patterns familiar from sequential programming, such as testing and later setting the value of a variable, which are forbidden in the standard synchronous MoC. The SC MoC is a conservative extension in that programs considered constructive in the common synchronous MoC are also SC and retain the same semantics. In this paper, we identify classes of variable accesses, define sequential constructiveness based on the concept of SC-admissible scheduling, and present a priority-based scheduling algorithm for analyzing and compiling SC programs.

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