Technical Report CS0551

Title: Communication Cost and Time of Commitment Algorithms
Authors: O. Wolfson and A. Segal
Abstract: We consider the communication protocol for transaction commitment in a distributed database. Specifically, we investigate the connection between the structure of communication among the participant sites, and the communication network topology. In order to do so, the cost of transaction commitment is defined as the number of network links that messages of the protocol must traverse (regardless of whether such link connects a participant, or a nonparticipant, site). We establish that the necessary cost for transaction commiunent is twice the cost of a minimum spanning tree. Then we show that the necessary cost is also sufficient for commitment, by presenting a simple distributed algorithm called TREE-COMMIT. Next, we consider the communication-time of commitment algorithms and prove that the time of TREE-COMMIT is the best one can obtain, in the class of simple algorithms which have minimum communication cost.
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