Navigation Stability: A New Isolation Level in ORDBMSs

Hong-Suk SEO  Kyu-Young WHANG  Yang-Sae MOON  Ji-Woong CHANG  Eui-Kyung HONG  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E84-D    No.9    pp.1171-1183
Publication Date: 2001/09/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Databases
navigation stability,  isolation level,  cursor stability,  

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In order to enhance the performance, many database management systems (DBMSs) execute transactions at isolation level 2 rather than at isolation level 3, the strict two phase locking, even if it sacrifices consistency to a certain degree. Cursor stability, a variant of isolation level 2 in relational DBMSs (RDBMSs), has been widely used as a useful technique for obtaining concurrency achievable at level 2 without much sacrificing consistency. However, cursor stability is much less usable in object-relational DBMSs (ORDBMSs) because navigational applications in ORDBMSs can suffer from critical inconsistency problems such as dangling pointers, lost updates, and reading inconsistent complex objects. In this paper, we propose a new isolation level, navigation stability, that prevents the inconsistency problems of cursor stability for navigational applications, while avoiding significant degradation of the concurrency of level 3. First, we analyze the inconsistency problems of cursor stability for navigational applications. Second, we define navigation stability as an extension of cursor stability and show that it solves those inconsistency problems of cursor stability in ORDBMSs. Third, through extensive simulation, we show that navigation stability significantly enhances the performance compared with level 3. For workloads consisting of transactions of long duration, compared with level 3, the throughput of navigation stability is enhanced by up to 200%; the average response time reduced by as much as 55%; and the abort ratio reduced by as much as 77%. From these results, we conclude that navigation stability is a useful isolation level in ORDBMSs that can be used in place of isolation level 3 to improve the performance and concurrency without significant sacrifice of consistency.

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