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Section: Research Program

Optimistic Replication

Replication of data among different nodes of a network allows improving reliability, fault-tolerance, and availability. When data are mutable, consistency among the different replicas must be ensured. Pessimistic replication is based on the principle of single-copy consistency while optimistic replication allows the replicas to diverge during a short time period. The consistency model for optimistic replication  [23] is called eventual consistency, meaning that replicas are guaranteed to converge to the same value when the system is idle.

Our research focuses on the two most promising families of optimistic replication algorithms for ensuring CCI:

  • the operational transformation (OT) algorithms  [19]

  • the algorithms based on commutative replicated data types (CRDT)  [22].

Operational transformation algorithms are based on the application of a transformation function when a remote modification is integrated into the local document. Integration algorithms are generic, being parametrized by operational transformation functions which depend on replicated document types. The advantage of these algorithms is their genericity. These algorithms can be applied to any data type and they can merge heterogeneous data in a uniform manner.

Commutative replicated data types is a new class of algorithms initiated by woot [20] a first algorithm designed WithOut Operational Transformations. They ensure consistency of highly dynamic content on peer-to-peer networks. Unlike traditional optimistic replication algorithms, they can ensure consistency without concurrency control. CRDT algorithms rely on natively commutative operations defined on abstract data types such as lists or ordered trees. Thus, they do not require a merge algorithm or an integration procedure.