Lightweight session programming in scala

Alceste Scalas, Nobuko Yoshida

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Designing, developing and maintaining concurrent applications is an error-prone and time-consuming task; most difficulties arise because compilers are usually unable to check whether the inputs/outputs performed by a program at runtime will adhere to a given protocol specification. To address this problem, we propose lightweight session programming in Scala: we leverage the native features of the Scala type system and standard library, to introduce (1) a representation of session types as Scala types, and (2) a library, called lchannels, with a convenient API for session-based programming, supporting local and distributed communication. We generalise the idea of Continuation-Passing Style Protocols (CPSPs), studying their formal relationship with session types. We illustrate how session programming can be carried over in Scala: how to formalise a communication protocol, and represent it using Scala classes and lchannels, letting the compiler help spotting protocol violations. We attest the practicality of our approach with a complex use case, and evaluate the performance of lchannels with a series of benchmarks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication30th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, ECOOP 2016
EditorsBenjamin S. Lerner, Shriram Krishnamurthi
ISBN (Electronic)9783959770149
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2016
Event30th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, ECOOP 2016 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 18 Jul 201622 Jul 2016

Publication series

Name30th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP 2016)
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl--Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik
ISSN (Print)1868-8969


Conference30th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, ECOOP 2016

Bibliographical note

© Alceste Scalas and Nobuko Yoshida;
licensed under Creative Commons License CC-BY

Funding: Work partly supported by: EPSRC EP/K011715/1, EP/K034413/1 and EP/L00058X/1, and EU project
FP7-612985 UpScale.


  • Concurrency
  • Scala
  • Session types


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