Exceptional asynchronous session types: session types without tiers

Simon Fowler, Sam Lindley, J. Garrett Morris, Sára Decova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Session types statically guarantee that communication complies with a protocol. However, most accounts of session typing do not account for failure, which means they are of limited use in real applications---especially distributed applications---where failure is pervasive.

We present the first formal integration of asynchronous session types with exception handling in a functional programming language. We define a core calculus which satisfies preservation and progress properties, is deadlock free, confluent, and terminating.

We provide the first implementation of session types with exception handling for a fully-fledged functional programming language, by extending the Links web programming language; our implementation draws on existing work on effect handlers. We illustrate our approach through a running example of two-factor authentication, and a larger example of a session-based chat application where communication occurs over session-typed channels and disconnections are handled gracefully.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


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