An Interference-Free Programming Model for Network Objects by Mischael Schill, myself, and Bertrand Meyer was accepted for publication at the 18th IFIP International Conference on Coordination Models and Languages (COORDINATION 2016).
Network objects are a simple and natural abstraction for distributed object-oriented programming. Languages that support network objects, however, often leave synchronization to the user, along with its associated pitfalls, such as data races and the possibility of failure. In this paper, we present D-SCOOP, a distributed programming model that allows for interference-free and transaction-like reasoning on (potentially multiple) network objects, with synchronization handled automatically, and network failures managed by a compensation mechanism. We achieve this by leveraging the runtime semantics of a multi-threaded object-oriented concurrency model, directly generalizing it with a message-based protocol for efficiently coordinating remote objects. We present our pathway to fusing these contrasting but complementary ideas, and evaluate the performance overhead of the automatic synchronization in D-SCOOP, finding that it comes close to—or outperforms—explicit locking-based synchronization in Java RMI.