Minimal Ownership for Active Objects

Authors David Clarke, Tobias Wrigstad, Johan Ostlund, Einar Broch Johnsen

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David Clarke
Tobias Wrigstad
Johan Ostlund
Einar Broch Johnsen

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David Clarke, Tobias Wrigstad, Johan Ostlund, and Einar Broch Johnsen. Minimal Ownership for Active Objects. In Typing, Analysis and Verification of Heap-Manipulating Programs. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 9301, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2010)


Active objects offer a structured approach to concurrency, encapsulating both unshared state and a thread of control. For efficient data transfer, data should be passed by reference whenever possible, but this introduces aliasing and undermines the validity of the active objects. This paper proposes a minimal variant of ownership types that preserves the required race freedom invariant yet enables data transfer by reference between active objects (that is, without copying) in many cases, and a cheap clone operation where copying is necessary. Our approach is general and should be adaptable to several existing active object systems.
  • Ownership
  • concurrency
  • uniqueness
  • active objects


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