Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

serializability Related Publications

4 Algebraic Specification of Serializability for Partitioned Transactions

Authors: Walter Hussak, John Keane


The usual correctness condition for a schedule of concurrent database transactions is some form of serializability of the transactions. For general forms, the problem of deciding whether a schedule is serializable is NP-complete. In those cases other approaches to proving correctness, using proof rules that allow the steps of the proof of serializability to be guided manually, are desirable. Such an approach is possible in the case of conflict serializability which is proved algebraically by deriving serial schedules using commutativity of non-conflicting operations. However, conflict serializability can be an unnecessarily strong form of serializability restricting concurrency and thereby reducing performance. In practice, weaker, more general, forms of serializability for extended models of transactions are used. Currently, there are no known methods using proof rules for proving those general forms of serializability. In this paper, we define serializability for an extended model of partitioned transactions, which we show to be as expressive as serializability for general partitioned transactions. An algebraic method for proving general serializability is obtained by giving an initial-algebra specification of serializable schedules of concurrent transactions in the model. This demonstrates that it is possible to conduct algebraic proofs of correctness of concurrent transactions in general cases.

Keywords: serializability, Algebraic Specification, Partitioned Transactions

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3 A Serializability Condition for Multi-step Transactions Accessing Ordered Data

Authors: Rafat Alshorman, Walter Hussak


In mobile environments, unspecified numbers of transactions arrive in continuous streams. To prove correctness of their concurrent execution a method of modelling an infinite number of transactions is needed. Standard database techniques model fixed finite schedules of transactions. Lately, techniques based on temporal logic have been proposed as suitable for modelling infinite schedules. The drawback of these techniques is that proving the basic serializability correctness condition is impractical, as encoding (the absence of) conflict cyclicity within large sets of transactions results in prohibitively large temporal logic formulae. In this paper, we show that, under certain common assumptions on the graph structure of data items accessed by the transactions, conflict cyclicity need only be checked within all possible pairs of transactions. This results in formulae of considerably reduced size in any temporal-logic-based approach to proving serializability, and scales to arbitrary numbers of transactions.

Keywords: directed graph, Multi-step transactions, serializability

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2 A CTL Specification of Serializability for Transactions Accessing Uniform Data

Authors: Rafat Alshorman, Walter Hussak


Existing work in temporal logic on representing the execution of infinitely many transactions, uses linear-time temporal logic (LTL) and only models two-step transactions. In this paper, we use the comparatively efficient branching-time computational tree logic CTL and extend the transaction model to a class of multistep transactions, by introducing distinguished propositional variables to represent the read and write steps of n multi-step transactions accessing m data items infinitely many times. We prove that the well known correspondence between acyclicity of conflict graphs and serializability for finite schedules, extends to infinite schedules. Furthermore, in the case of transactions accessing the same set of data items in (possibly) different orders, serializability corresponds to the absence of cycles of length two. This result is used to give an efficient encoding of the serializability condition into CTL.

Keywords: computational tree logic, serializability, multi-step transactions

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1 Specifying Strict Serializability of Iterated Transactions in Propositional Temporal Logic

Authors: Walter Hussak


We present an operator for a propositional linear temporal logic over infinite schedules of iterated transactions, which, when applied to a formula, asserts that any schedule satisfying the formula is serializable. The resulting logic is suitable for specifying and verifying consistency properties of concurrent transaction management systems, that can be defined in terms of serializability, as well as other general safety and liveness properties. A strict form of serializability is used requiring that, whenever the read and write steps of a transaction occurrence precede the read and write steps of another transaction occurrence in a schedule, the first transaction must precede the second transaction in an equivalent serial schedule. This work improves on previous work in providing a propositional temporal logic with a serializability operator that is of the same PSPACE complete computational complexity as standard propositional linear temporal logic without a serializability operator.

Keywords: serializability, Temporal logic, iterated transactions

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