Concurrency, Distribution and Parallelism in Object-Oriented Programming

Jean-Pierre Briot
Laboratoire d'Informatique de Paris 6
UPMC - Case 169, 4 place Jussieu
F-75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
email: Jean-Pierre

Rachid Guerraoui
Département d'Informatique
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Klaus-Peter Löhr
Institut für Informatik
Freie Universität Berlin
Takustraße 9
D-14195 Berlin, Germany

Report B 97-14
December 1997

This paper aims at classifying and discussing the various ways along which the object paradigm is used for concurrent systems. We distinguish the library approach, the integrative approach and the reflective approach. The library approach applies object-oriented concepts, as they are, to structure concurrent systems through libraries. The integrative approach consists in merging concepts such as object and activity, message passing and transaction. The reflective approach closely integrates protocol libraries and object-oriented languages. We discuss and illustrate each of these approaches and point out their complementary levels and goals. We will also make a careful distinction between the notions of concurrency on the one hand - referring to the non-sequential semantics of a program - and parallelism and distribution on the other hand - referring to the actual implementation of a concurrent system.

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