Totally-Ordered Prefix Parallel Snapshot Isolation

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Nuno Filipe Faria
José Orlando Pereira
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Distributed data management systems have increasingly been using variants of Snapshot Isolation (SI) as their transactional isolation criteria as it combines strong ACID guarantees with non-blocking reads and scalability. However, most existing proposals are limited by the performance of update propagation and stability detection, in particular, when execution and storage are disaggregated. In this paper, we propose TOPSI, an approach providing a restricted form of Parallel Snapshot Isolation (PSI) that allows partially ordering recent transactions to avoid waiting for remote updates or using a stale snapshot. Moreover, it has the interesting property of making a prefix of history in all sites converge to a common total order. This allows versions to be represented by a single scalar timestamp for certification and storage in a shared store. We demonstrate the impact on throughput and abort rate with a proof-of-concept implementation and the industry-standard TPC-C benchmark. © 2021 ACM.