Epidemic algorithms for replicated databases

Jo Anne Holliday, Robert Steinke, Divyakant Agrawal, Amr El Abbadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)


We present a family of epidemic algorithms for maintaining replicated database systems. The algorithms are based on the causal delivery of log records where each record corresponds to one transaction instead of one operation. The first algorithm in this family is a pessimistic protocol that ensures serializability and guarantees strict executions. Since we expect the epidemic algorithms to be used in environments with low probability of conflicts among transactions, we develop a variant of the pessimistic algorithm which is optimistic in that transactions commit as soon as they terminate locally and inconsistencies are detected asynchronously as the effects of committed transactions propagate through the system. The last member of the family of epidemic algorithms is pessimistic and uses voting with quorums to resolve conflicts and improve transaction response time. A simulation study evaluates the performance of the protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1218-1238
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2003


  • Database replication
  • Distributed databases
  • Epidemic communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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