In Proceedings

Lazy Continuations for Java Virtual Machines
August 2009

Continuations, or 'the rest of the computation', are a concept that is most often used in the context of functional and dynamic programming languages. Implementations of such languages that work on top of the Java virtual machine (JVM) have traditionally been complicated by the lack of continuations because they must be simulated. We propose an implementation of continuations in the Java virtual machine with a lazy or on-demand approach. Our system imposes zero run-time overhead as long as no activations need to be saved and restored and performs well when continuations are used. Although our implementation can be used from Java code directly, it is mainly intended to facilitate the creation of frameworks that allow other functional or dynamic languages to be executed on a Java virtual machine. As there are no widely used benchmarks for continuation functionality on JVMs, we developed synthetical benchmarks that show the expected costs of the most important operations depending on various parameters.

Authors: Lukas Stadler, Christian Wimmer, Thomas Wuerthinger, Hanspeter Mössenböck, John Rose

Venue: PPPJ 2009

Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together