Robustness against Read Committed for Transaction Templates

Brecht Vandevoort, Bas Ketsman, Christoph Koch, Frank Neven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


The isolation level Multiversion Read Committed (RC), offered by many database systems, is known to trade consistency for increased transaction throughput. Sometimes, transaction workloads can be safely executed under RC obtaining the perfect isolation of serializability at the lower cost of RC. To identify such cases, we introduce an expressive model of transaction programs to better reason about the serializability of transactional workloads. We develop tractable algorithms to decide whether any possible schedule of a workload executed under RC is serializable (referred to as the robustness problem). Our approach yields robust subsets that are larger than those identified by previous methods. We provide experimental evidence that workloads that are robust against RC can be evaluated faster under RC compared to stronger isolation levels. We discuss techniques for making workloads robust against RC by promoting selective read operations to updates. Depending on the scenario, the performance improvements can be considerable. Robustness testing and safely executing transactions under the lower isolation level RC can therefore provide a direct way to increase transaction throughput without changing DBMS internals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2141-2153
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the VLDB Endowment
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event47th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases -
Duration: 16 Aug 202120 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The resources and services used in this work were provided by the VSC (Flemish Supercomputer Center), funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and the Flemish Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, VLDB Endowment. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Transactions
  • Robustness
  • Concurrency
  • Database


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