The actor model provides high-level concurrency abstractions to coordinate simultaneous computations by message passing. Languages implementing the actor model such as Erlang commonly only support single-headed pattern matching over received messages. We propose and design an extension of Erlang style actors with receive clauses containing multi-headed message patterns. Patterns may be non-linear and constrained by guards. We provide a number of examples to show the usefulness of the extension. We also explore the design space for multi-headed message matching semantics, for example first-match and rule priority-match semantics. The various semantics are inspired by the multi-set constraint matching semantics found in Constraint Handling Rules. This provides us with a formal model to study actors with multi-headed message receive patterns. The system can be implemented efficiently and we have built a prototype as a library-extension to Haskell.
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