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Formalising and Analysing Transactional Consistency Models

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To boost performance, modern transactional systems provide weaker consistency guarantees than those defined by serialisability. Suchtransactional systems exhibit subtle behaviours that make it difficult for programmers to write correct applications. This problem is complicated by the fact that consistency models specifications are often informal, or they use disparate formalisms.

I will present a framework for specifying transactional consistency model. Then I will focus on Snapshot Isolation, a well-known consistency model, and show how a thorough analysis of its formal specification leads to deriving two static analysis techniques: the first one checks whether an application running on a weaker consistency model, Parallel Snapshot Isolation, still behaves as though as it were running on Snapshot Isolation; the second one is transaction chopping for Snapshot Isolation.

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