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Message passing is a useful abstraction for implementing concurrent programs. For real-world systems, however, it is often combined with other programming and concurrency paradigms, such as higher-order functions, mutable state, shared-memory concurrency, and locks. We present Actris: a logic for proving functional correctness of programs that use a combination of the aforementioned features. Actris combines the power of modern concurrent separation logics with a first-class protocol mechanism—based on session types— for reasoning about message passing in the presence of other concurrency paradigms. We show that Actris provides a suitable level of abstraction by proving functional correctness of a variety of examples, including a channel-based merge sort, a channel-based load-balancing mapper, and a variant of the map-reduce model, using concise specifications. While Actris was already presented in a conference paper (POPL’20), this paper expands the prior presentation significantly. Moreover, it extends Actris to Actris 2.0 with a notion of subprotocols—based on session-type subtyping—that permits additional flexibility when composing channel endpoints, and that takes full advantage of the asynchronous semantics of message passing in Actris. Soundness of Actris 2.0 is proven using a model of its protocol mechanism in the Iris framework. We have mechanised the theory of Actris, together with custom tactics, as well as all examples in the paper, in the Coq proof assistant.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLogical Methods in Computer Science
Pages (from-to)16:1-16:64
Number of pages64
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

    Research areas

  • actor model, concurrency, Iris, Message passing, session types

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