The performance of two phase commit Protocols in the presence of site failures

M. L. Liu, D. Agrawal, A. El Abbadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


The two phase commit is an important protocol in distributed database systems. Much of the existing literature on the protocol is restricted to discussing and analyzing the protocol (and its variants) in the absence of failures. Very little, especially in quantitative terms, has been written about its performance in the presence of site failures. In this study, we use a simulation testbed of a distributed database system to quantify the differences in the performances of four widely known variants of the 2PC protocols (the generic 2PC, presumed commit, presumed abort, and early prepare). Our study covers both the no-failure case and the case of site failures. We present a number of interesting results based on our experiments. One is that the performance of these protocols is highly dependent on the message-processing latency at the transaction coordinator site. Another is that the presumed abort protocol does not necessarily yield better performance in the presence of site failures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-182
Number of pages26
JournalDistributed and Parallel Databases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998



  • Atomic commitment protocol
  • Response time
  • Site failures
  • Throughput
  • Two phase commit protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Information Systems and Management

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