Conference on Domain-Specific Languages, 1997
Design and Semantics of Quantum: a Language to Control Resource
Consumption in Distributed Computing
University of Southampton
Université de Paris
This paper describes the semantics of Quantum, a language that was
specifically designed to control resource consumption of distributed
computations, such as mobile agent style applications.
In Quantum, computations can be driven by mastering their resource
consumption. Resources can be understood as
processors cycles, geographical expansion, bandwidth or duration of
communications, etc. We adopt a generic view by saying that computations need
energy to be performed. Quantum relies on three new primitives that deal with
energy. The first primitive creates a tank of energy associated with a
computation. Asynchronous notifications inform the user of energy exhaustion and
computation termination. The other two primitives allow us to implement
suspension and resumption of computations by emptying a tank and by supplying
more energy to a tank.
The semantics takes the form of an abstract machine with explicit parallelism
and energy-related primitives.
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