An Overview of Actor Languages

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Actors are computational agents which carry out their actions in response to incoming communications. As in other object-oriented languages, actors encapsulate procedural and declarative information into a single entity. Primitive actor languages are based on a pure message-passing semantics. Higher-level actor languages incorporate the use of inheritance for conceptual organization and delegation for structuring the sharing of code between different actors. This paper provides an overview of the actor model and discusses some advantages of actor languages in exploiting large-scale concurrent architectures. The kernel of an actor language is presented and some of the higher-level control constructs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalACM SIGPLAN Notices
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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