π-calculus, Session Types research at Imperial College

News: Roland Kuhn at Scala World
14 Sep 2016

Roland Kuhn, CTO of Actyx, and one of our industry collaborators, gave a talk titled Distributed Systems vs. Compositionality at Scala World, talked about some of our works.

His slides are on slideshare.

Distributed systems are becoming more and more commonplace, microservices and cloud deployments force this notion into the day to day routine of many developers. One of the great features of a strongly typed language like Scala - with its expressive type system - is that we can achieve a high level of safety and confidence by letting the compiler verify that our code behaves as specified. But can this safety be carried over into the interactions between distributed parts of an application? Can we for example safely compose Actor behaviours from different pieces?

This presentation introduces some approaches to this problem, including Session Types and π-calculus, and discusses their limitations. The practical ramifications are illustrated using Akka Typed, with a preview of composable and reusable behaviors.