Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Time-Driven Orphan Elimination


Martin S. McKendry, Maurice Herlihy

July 1985

An orphan in a transaction system is an activity executing on behalf of an aborted transaction. This paper proposed a new method for managing orphans created by crashes and by aborts. The method prevents orphans from observing inconsistent states, and ensures that orphans are detected and eliminated in a timely manner. A major advantage of this method is simplicity: it is easy to understand, to implement, and to prove correct. The method is based on timeouts using clocks local to each site. The method is fail-safe : although it performs best when clocks are closely synchronized and message delays are predictable, unsynchronized clocks and lost messages cannot produce inconsistencies or protect orphans from eventual elimination.

14 pages

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