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GEMs: Shared-memory Parallel Programming for Node.js

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author Bonetta Daniele, Salucci Luca, Marr Stefan, Binder Walter,
Project Fundamentals of Parallel Programming for Platform-as-a-Service Clouds
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings Proceedings of OOPSLA '16
DOI 10.1145/2983990.2984039


JavaScript is the most popular programming language for client-side Web applications, and Node.js has popularized the language for server-side computing, too. In this domain, the minimal support for parallel programming remains however a major limitation. In this paper we introduce a novel parallel programming abstraction called Generic Messages (GEMs). GEMs allow one to combine message passing and shared-memory parallelism, extending the classes of parallel applications that can be built with Node.js. GEMs have customizable semantics and enable several forms of thread safety, isolation, and concurrency control. GEMs are designed as convenient JavaScript abstractions that expose high-level and safe parallelism models to the developer. Experiments show that GEMs outperform equivalent Node.js applications thanks to their usage of shared memory.