[erlang-questions] How to Name Concurrency Patterns

Dmitry Kolesnikov <>
Wed Feb 19 23:08:16 CET 2014


Hello,

Long time ago, I was looking into async message queue patters.
I found namomsg tutorial is very nice it depicts most common patterns
http://tim.dysinger.net/posts/2013-09-16-getting-started-with-nanomsg.html



Best Regards,
Dmitry
>-|-|-(*>

> On 19 Feb 2014, at 23:14, Joe Armstrong <> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> Hello, I'm giving a course in distributed and parallel programming in
> Erlang ...
> 
> Next week I'll be talking about common concurrency patterns, I was
> talking with the course adviser, and I rattled off the names of a few
> concurrency patterns that were well-known and easy to explain. I said
> I'll do PUB-SUB, pipeline, map-reduce, parallel map, and so on.
> 
> At this stage the course adviser said that a) things like PUB-SUB
> would not be familiar to the students and that b) It would take more
> than 5-10 minutes to explain PUB_SUB.
> 
> At this stage I thought "pity these patterns don't have well-known
> names".
> 
> What I'd like is to make a catalog of "well-known" concurrency
> patterns.  I'd like to name them, and describe them informally, and
> give the example code in Erlang.
> 
> For example, here's how I might describe PUB-SUB.
>  
> == PUB-SUB
> 
>    - There are a number of named channels
>    - You can post messages to a channel ie Publish the message (the PUB)
>    - You can subscribe to a channel (The SUB)
>    - If you are currently subscribed to a channel you will be sent all messages
>      sent to the channel.
> 
> A rudimentary version of this is about 25 lines of Erlang. A full
> version with load balancing, removing bottlenecks etc. would be a lot
> longer, but that's not the point. The basic concurrent structure can
> be explained in a few lines and named.
> 
> 
> Pipeline is another example: The output of the first process is the
> input to the next process and so on...
> 
> Now I start having problems.
> 
> Suppose I want to generalize a regular map. 
> 
> To be precise. Suppose map(F, L) means [F(I) || I <- L]
> 
> pmap(F, L) is parallel map (easy) all the F(I)'s are computed concurrently.
> 
> pmap(F, L, Max) behaves like map(F,L) with at most Max F(I)'s computed concurrently.
> 
> What should this be called? "Pool of workers"
> 
> There seem to be things with well-known names "Load-balancer" "map-reduce" etc.
> 
> Then there are things that we know of but that are not named. For
> example my DNS resolver has two DNS names DNS1 and DNS2.  If DNS1 is
> broken the resolver tries DNS2 - what is concurrency pattern called
> (Pool of responders) or what?
> 
> The other day I suggested that for fault tolerance it was much easier
> to let the client go to multiple machines rather than use an expensive
> load balancer and fail-over system on the server - but there was no
> convenient name to capture this idea.
> 
> There sees to be no accepted terminology here - so I'd appreciate any
> suggestions you have as to the names of common currency patterns that
> you use together with definitions of what the names mean.
> 
> Cheers
> 
> /Joe
> 
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