Evaluating Dotted Version Vectors in Riak

Gonçalves R, Almeida PS, Moreno CB, Fonte V, Preguiça N.  2011.  Evaluating Dotted Version Vectors in Riak. INForum - Simpósio de Informática. :474–479.

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The NoSQL movement is rapidly increasing in importance, acceptance and usage in major (web) applications, that need the partition-tolerance and availability of the CAP theorem for scalability purposes, thus sacrificing the consistency side. With this approach, paradigms such as Eventual Consistency became more widespread. An eventual consistent system must handle data divergence and conflicts, that have to be carefully accounted for. Some systems have tried to use classic Version Vectors (VV) to track causality, but these reveal either scalability problems or loss of accuracy (when pruning is used to prevent vector growth).

Dotted Version Vectors (DVV) is a novel mechanism for dealing with data versioning in eventual consistent systems, that allows both accurate causality tracking and scalability both in the number of clients and servers, while limiting vector size to replication degree.

In this paper we describe briefly the challenges faced when incorporating DVV in Riak (a distributed key-value store), evaluate its behavior and performance, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this specific implementation.

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