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Distributing the SECD machine

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dan Ghica.

We present a new abstract machine, called DCESH , which models the execution of higher-order programs running in distributed architectures. DCESH implements a native general remote higher-order function call across node boundaries. It is a modernised version of SECD enriched with specialised communication features required for implementing the RPC mechanism. The key correctness result is that the termination behaviour of the RPC is indistinguishable (bisimilar) to that of a local call. The correctness proofs and the requisite definitions for DCESH and other related abstract machines are formalised using Agda. We also formalise a generic transactional mechanism for transparently handling failure in DCES Hs.

We use the DCESH as a target architecture for compiling a conventional call-by-value functional language (“Floskel”) which can be annotated with node information. Conventional benchmarks show that the single-node performance of Floskel is comparable to that of OCaml, a semantically similar language, and that distribution overheads

Joint work with Olle Fredriksson and Dan Ghica.

This talk is part of the Lab Lunch series.

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