Contributions to parallel multiparadigm languages : combining object-oriented and rule-based programming
Today, object-oriented programming is widely used as a practical tool. For some types of complex applications, the object-oriented style needs to be complemented with other types of programming paradigms into a multiparadigm language. One candidate for such a complement is the rule-based programming paradigm. For this purpose, several object-oriented languages have been extended with rule-based features from production systems.- We propose a loosely coupled parallel multiparadigm language based on object-orientation, features from production systems, and ideas from the joint action concept. The latter is a model for writing executable specifications, but basically it is a rule-oriented technique. It has a loose coupling between objects and actions, which is essential to extend an object-oriented language in an evolutionary way.- Production systems have a natural potential for massively parallel execution, and have a general execution model. However, they have traditionally been limited to applications within the area of artificial intelligence. If the restrictions imposed by the traditional problems are eliminated, rule-based programming can become practical for a wider spectrum of applications, and they can also utilize parallelism to a higher degree.- The main contribution of this thesis is to investigate the possibilities of cross-fertilization between some research areas that can contribute to a language of the proposed type. These areas are object-orientation, production systems, parallel computing, and to some extent formal specification languages and database management systems.- A prototype, intended to verify some of our ideas, has been built with the Erlang functional language and is implemented on a parallel machine.
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