Multi-Shot Distributed Transaction Commit

Authors Gregory Chockler, Alexey Gotsman

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Author Details

Gregory Chockler
  • Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Alexey Gotsman
  • IMDEA Software Institute, Madrid, Spain

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Gregory Chockler and Alexey Gotsman. Multi-Shot Distributed Transaction Commit. In 32nd International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 121, pp. 14:1-14:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


Atomic Commit Problem (ACP) is a single-shot agreement problem similar to consensus, meant to model the properties of transaction commit protocols in fault-prone distributed systems. We argue that ACP is too restrictive to capture the complexities of modern transactional data stores, where commit protocols are integrated with concurrency control, and their executions for different transactions are interdependent. As an alternative, we introduce Transaction Certification Service (TCS), a new formal problem that captures safety guarantees of multi-shot transaction commit protocols with integrated concurrency control. TCS is parameterized by a certification function that can be instantiated to support common isolation levels, such as serializability and snapshot isolation. We then derive a provably correct crash-resilient protocol for implementing TCS through successive refinement. Our protocol achieves a better time complexity than mainstream approaches that layer two-phase commit on top of Paxos-style replication.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Distributed computing models
  • Atomic commit problem
  • two-phase commit
  • Paxos


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