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Distributed Transactional Boosting



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Distributed Transactional Boosting Michael Feldman Maurice Herlihy Department of Computer Science Brown University May 2010 Abstract We describe a methodology of transforming a large class of linearizable data structures into transactional data structures replicated by a set of networked computers As long as the linearizable implementation satisfies certain regularity properties informally that every method has an inverse we define a simple wrapper for the linearizable implementation that guarantees that concurrent distributed transactions without inherent conflicts can synchronize at the same granularity as the original linearizable implementation 1 Introduction As put forth in Transactional Boosting A Methodology for Highly Concurrent Transactional Objects by Maurice Herlihy and Eric Koskinen transactional boosting is a methodology of transforming linearizable data structures into transactional data structures Under this methodology each thread keeps its own copy of the linearizable data structure Threads update their local copies and group updates into transactions When a thread has finished a transaction it commits notifying all other threads of that transaction A system of abstract locks detects conflicts between committing and ongoing transactions Any ongoing transaction that conflicts with a committed transaction is first undone before the committed transaction updates that thread s data structure This methodology works well for multicore systems but new issues arise in distributed systems Compare and swap operations become difficult and the primary speed bottleneck is passing messages over the network instead of contention Still it is possible that the ideas involved in transactional boosting will provide an efficient way to maintain a distributed data structure Our implementation of distributed transactional boosting is built atop Virtual Synchrony a project originally intended to maintain a distributed hash table using absolutely ordered broadcast messages



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