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Reactivity

  • If a program’s environment is guaranteed to be fixed, the program need never worry about its own success or failure – program just executes blindly
    • Example of fixed environment: compiler
  • The real world is not like that: things change, information is incomplete. Many (most?) interesting environments are dynamic
  • Software is hard to build for dynamic domains: program must take into account possibility of failure – ask itself whether it is worth executing!
  • A reactive system is one that maintains an ongoing interaction with its environment, and responds to changes that occur in it (in time for the response to be useful)

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