Event-Based Programming without Inversion of Control. Philipp Haller and Martin Odersky.
Scala is different from other concurrent languages in that it contains no language support for concurrency beyond the standard thread model offered by the host environment. Instead of specialized language constructs we rely on Scala's general abstraction capabilities to define higher-level concurrency models. In such a way, we were able to define all essential operations of Erlang's actor-based process model in the Scala library.
However, since Scala is implemented on the Java VM, we inherited some of the deficiencies of the host environment when it comes to concurrency, namely low maximum number of threads and high context-switch overhead. In this paper we have shown how to turn this weakness into a strength. By defining a new event-based model for actors, we could increase dramatically their efficiency and scalability. At the same time, we kept to a large extent the programming model of thread-based actors, which would not have been possible if we had switched to a traditional event-based architecture, because the latter causes an inversion of control.
(There's not really a proper abstract. The above is from the conclusion.)
I enjoyed this paper. It's a quick read and a nice demonstration of some of Scala's cool features. It's also a good example of using exceptions as delimited control operators, and in fact the one substantial restriction is imposed by the lack of the more powerful operators. They use Scala's type system to reduce the burden of this restriction, however, since they're able to state that a particular statement never returns normally (and thus must not be followed by more statements).
Those interested in the language/library boundary will also find it interesting for this reason:
The techniques presented in this paper are a good showcase of the increased flexibility offered by library-based designs. It allowed us to quickly address problems with the previous thread-based actor model by developing a parallel class hierarchy for event-based actors. Today, the two approaches exist side by side. Thread-based actors are still useful since they allow returning from a receive operation. Event-based actors are more restrictive in the programming style they allow, but they are also more efficient.
They have some fairly impressive empirical scalability results as well.