Improving on version stamps

Almeida PS, Moreno CB, Fonte V.  2007.  Improving on version stamps. On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems 2007: OTM 2007 Workshops. 4806:1025–1031.


Optimistic distributed systems often rely on version vectors or their variants in order to track updates on replicated objects. Some of these mechanisms rely on some form of global configuration or distributed naming protocol in order to assign unique identifiers to each replica. These approaches are incompatible with replica creation under arbitrary partitions, a typical operation mode in mobile or poorly connected environments. Other mechanisms assign unique identifiers relying on statistical correctness. In previous work we have introduced an update tracking mechanism that overcomes these limitations. This paper presents results from recent experimentation, that brought to surface a particular pattern of operation that results in an unforeseen, unlimited growth in space consumption. We also describe informally a new update tracking mechanism that does not exhibit this pathological growth while providing guaranteed unique identifiers for a dynamic number of replicas under arbitrary partitions and the same functionality of version vectors.

Citation Key: