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Space Complexity of Replicated Data Types
{ Wed, 9 Apr 2014, 14h00 }

By: Marek Zawirski  [ show info ]

Data replication is an ubiquitous technique that improves fault-tolerance, availability and responsiveness of a system. Many recent applications opt for eventually consistent replication, trading strong consistency for low latency and high availability. However, the implementation of eventually consistent systems can be challenging, due to concurrent updates and conflict resolution, unpredictable network conditions, and failures. Addressing these problems requires complex metadata and logic. An emerging solution is to encapsulate this complexity behind reusable Replicated Data Type (RDT) abstractions, such as counters, sets or registers.

A number of different RDT implementations have been proposed recently, leading to the natural questions: which one to choose? Do they implement the same semantics? How much space overhead do they introduce? Do more efficient implementation exist? What are the inherent limits, and what can be improved?

To answer these questions, we introduce several new concepts for reasoning about correctness and performance of RDTs:
1) We formalize more than 4 different data type specifications
2) We introduce a metric to characterize the asymptotic metadata overhead
3) We derive lower bounds for all 4 data types, that is, establish the minimum space overhead required for ANY correct implementation
4) We present optimal implementations for all 4 data types, selected from the literature

This talk will overview our framework for reasoning about RDTs with a walk-through example study of a selected data type.

This is a joint-work with Sebastian Burckhardt (MSR Redmond), Alexey Gotsman (IMDEA Software), and Hongseok Yang (Oxford) that appeared as "Replicated Data Types: Specification, Verification, Optimality" in POPL'14.

Hosted by: Computer Systems

Location: DI seminars room

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