15 Facts About Actor model


Actor model in computer science is a mathematical model of concurrent computation that treats actor as the universal primitive of concurrent computation.

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Actor model adopts the philosophy that everything is an actor.

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Decoupling the sender from communications sent was a fundamental advance of the actor model enabling asynchronous communication and control structures as patterns of passing messages.

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Actor model is characterized by inherent concurrency of computation within and among actors, dynamic creation of actors, inclusion of actor addresses in messages, and interaction only through direct asynchronous message passing with no restriction on message arrival order.

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Actor model can be used as a framework for modeling, understanding, and reasoning about a wide range of concurrent systems.

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Tony Hoare

Dijkstra's Actor model gave rise to a controversy concerning unbounded nondeterminism, a property of concurrency by which the amount of delay in servicing a request can become unbounded as a result of arbitration of contention for shared resources while still guaranteeing that the request will eventually be serviced.

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Also, messages in the actor model are simply sent ; there is no requirement for a synchronous handshake with the recipient.

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One of the key motivations for the development of the actor model was to understand and deal with the control structure issues that arose in development of the Planner programming language.

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Once the actor model was initially defined, an important challenge was to understand the power of the model relative to Robert Kowalski's thesis that "computation can be subsumed by deduction".

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Delicate point in the actor model is the ability to synthesize the address of an actor.

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Actor model's work differed from the actor model because it was based on a fixed number of processes of fixed topology communicating numbers and strings using synchronous communication.

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The original communicating sequential processes model published by Tony Hoare differed from the actor model because it was based on the parallel composition of a fixed number of sequential processes connected in a fixed topology, and communicating using synchronous message-passing based on process names.

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Actor model has been influential on both theory development and practical software development.

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Actor model has influenced the development of the p-calculus and subsequent process calculi.

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Many of the ideas introduced in the actor model are now finding application in multi-agent systems for these same reasons [Hewitt 2006b 2007b].

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