Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Distributed Control Flow with Classical Modal Logic

Tom Murphy VII, Karl Crary, Robert Harper

December 2004

Keywords: Distributed computing, modal logic, classical logic, continuations, programming languages

In previous work we presented a foundational calculus for spatially distributed computing based on intuitionistic modal logic. Through the modalities (box) and (diamond) we were able to capture two key invariants: the mobility of portable code and the locality of fixed resources.

This work investigates issues in distributed control flow through a similar propositions-as-types interpretation of classical modal logic. The resulting programming language is enhanced with the notion of a network-wide continuation, through which we can give computational interpretation of classical theorems (such as box A being equivalent to not diamond not A). Such continuations are also useful primitives for building higher-level constructs of distributed computing. The resulting system is elegant, logically faithful, and computationally reasonable.

39 pages

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