actor model

Introduction to Akka

Update 26.03.2023: In September 2022, Lightbend changed the license of Akka from Apache 2.0 to the source-available Business Source License (BSL) 1.1. Akka was forked as Pekko.

There are several models of concurrent computing, the actor model is one of them. I am going to give a glimpse of this model and one of its implementation - Akka toolkit.

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The actor model

In the actor model, actors are objects that have state and behavior and communicate to each other by message passing. This sounds like good old objects from OOP, but the crucial difference is that message passing is one-way and asynchronous: an actor sends a message to another actor and continues its work. In fact, actors are totally reactive, all theirs activity is happening as reaction to incoming messages, which are processed one by one. However, it is not a limitation because messages can be of any sort including scheduled messages (by timer) and network messages.