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Conflict-free Data Types

By: Nuno PreguiƧa

Replicating shared data is a fundamental mechanism for achieving fault-tolerance, availability and performance in large-scale distributed systems. Eventual consistency sidesteps the (foreground) synchronisation bottleneck, but leads to solutions that are ad-hoc, error-prone, and difficult to prove correct. In this talk, I will introduce Conflict-Free Replicated Data Types (CRDTs), a simple and theoretically sound solution for replicating shared data. A CRDT is a data types that demonstrates some simple properties: monotonicity in a semi-lattice and/or commutativity of concurrent operations. Any CRDT provably converges, provided all replicas eventually receive all operations. A CRDT requires no synchronisation: an update can execute immediately in a replica, with synchronisation being performed asynchronously. I will present how CRDTs are being used in practice in large-scale distributed systems and discuss how they can be used in other setting, such as modern multicore systems.

Date: 19 Aug 2013

Location/Event: MUSEPAT 2012: International Conference on Multicore Software Engineering, Performance, and Tools

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