Using session types as an effect system

Dominic Orchard
(Imperial College London)
Nobuko Yoshida
(Imperial College London)

Side effects are a core part of practical programming. However, they are often hard to reason about, particularly in a concurrent setting. We propose a foundation for reasoning about concurrent side effects using sessions. Primarily, we show that session types are expressive enough to encode an effect system for stateful processes. This is formalised via an effect-preserving encoding of a simple imperative language with an effect system into the pi-calculus with session primitives and session types (into which we encode effect specifications). This result goes towards showing a connection between the expressivity of session types and effect systems. We briefly discuss how the encoding could be extended and applied to reason about and control concurrent side effects.

In Simon Gay and Jade Alglave: Proceedings Eighth International Workshop on Programming Language Approaches to Concurrency- and Communication-cEntric Software (PLACES 2015), London, UK, 18th April 2015, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 203, pp. 1–13.
Published: 10th February 2016.

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