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A Formal Characterization of Epsilon Serializability
December 1995 (vol. 7 no. 6)
pp. 997-1007

Abstract—Epsilon serializability (ESR) is a generalization of classic serializability (SR). In this paper, we provide a precise characterization of ESR when queries that may view inconsistent data run concurrently with consistent update transactions.

Our first goal is to understand the behavior of queries in the presence of conflicts and to show how ESR in fact is a generalization of SR. So, using the ACTA framework, we formally express the intertransaction conflicts that are recognized by ESR and through that define ESR, analogous to the manner in which conflict-based serializability is defined. Secondly, expressions are derived for the amount of inconsistency (in a data item) viewed by a query and its effects on the results of a query. These inconsistencies arise from concurrent updates allowed by ESR. Thirdly, in order to maintain the inconsistencies within bounds associated with each query, the expressions are used to determine the preconditions that operations have to satisfy. The results of a query, and the errors in it, depend on what a query does with the, possibly inconsistent, data viewed by it. One of the important byproducts of this work is the identification of different types of queries which lend themselves to an analysis of the effects of data inconsistency on the results of the query.

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Index Terms:
Epsilon serializability, concurrency control, transaction processing, formal techniques, ACTA.
Krithi Ramamritham, Calton Pu, "A Formal Characterization of Epsilon Serializability," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 7, no. 6, pp. 997-1007, Dec. 1995, doi:10.1109/69.476504
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