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Special virtual machine for distributed information system with actor model support


A.Yu. Bogachev – Post-graduate Student, Assistant, Department «Information Processing and Control Systems», Bauman Moscow State Technical University

Currently, there are many tasks that require the development of distributed information systems. Among the methods of developing such systems, which are gaining popularity, we should note the approach oriented to the use of the actor model. The mathematical model of actors allows to describe and implement the asynchronous interaction between parallel threads by the method of message passing instead of using common variables, which helps to prevent possible errors. The most successful way of implementing the actor approach is to build a distributed system on the basis of a specialized virtual machine, that allows this information system to be presented as a set of interacting processes that perform application functions with possibility to dynamically change in their behavior.
To achieve simplicity and ease of programming actors and the perception of the system, it is suggested to use an imperative description of the actors' processes in the format of event handlers similar to the «Event Loop» message processing cycles.
The developed specialized virtual machine is a special case of a machine with an unlimited set of registers and uses three-address in-structions. And using a tagged memory architecture allows to combine operation codes (OP codes) designed to process data of various types, and thereby reduce the number of OP codes used. Also the tagged memory architecture provides strict typing, which avoids the incorrect application of operators to the data.
The proposed virtual machine can become a good basis for the development of distributed systems using the actor model, with support of object-oriented programming methodology in the style of Smalltalk and Objective C programming languages for the implementation of actors for microservice and service-oriented architecture and multi-agent systems.

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