Presentation: "Actor Thinking"

Time: Friday 10:35 - 11:35

Location: Stanford Room


Our intuitve grasp of reality is inherently concurrent and stateful. We react to events based on our present knowledge and we observe that the behavior of others changes over time. The Actor model of computation directly reflects this experiential world-view. Activities are intrinsically parallel. Sequencing must be orchestrated.

Actor Thinking suggests a significant change in the way we compose computer systems. Our focus shifts to interactions and protocols. Our designs revolve around reactive behaviors. Emergent behavior arises from systems of autonomous agents with decentralized control.

Actor-based design may seem foreign, but it is in fact quite intuitive. Fortunately, examples of actor-like solution patterns exist all around us. The world is filled with autonomous agents reacting to asynchronous events based on purely local information. Actor-based systems operate the same way. Actor Thinking helps us realize computer-based solutions using patterns we observe in daily life.

Dale Schumacher, Professional Gadfly

 Dale  Schumacher

Dale Schumacher is passionate about applying computer technology to enhance human capabilities. In pursuit of this goal he continues to explore and learn about the nature of human/computer systems. In the last three decades this has included: agile and lean organizational processes, distributed enterprise systems, web-based applications, real-time embedded systems, language design, simulations, digital imaging and computer visualization. He is a polyglot programmer facinated with the diversity of problem-solving approaches inherent in each computational model.

His open-source contributions include: communication protocols, standard libraries for C, the "clean" font family for the X-Window system, enhancements to the Minix O/S kernel and a Java servlet-based wiki. He contributed to "Graphics Gems" volumes I, II and III, and edited the collective work "Software Solutions in C". Outside of coaching and mentoring, his focus the last few years has been on the development of an Actor Based Environment for prototyping actor solutions. He prefers to work in collaboration with others, and values craftsmanship and intrinsic quality in all his work.