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Flexible Constraint Management for Autonomous Distributed Databases

Chawathe, S. and Garcia-Molina, H. and Widom, J. (1994) Flexible Constraint Management for Autonomous Distributed Databases. Technical Report. Stanford InfoLab. (Publication Note: Data Engineering Bulletin, 17(2), June 1994)




When databases inter-operate, integrity constraints arise naturally. For example, consider a flight reservation application that multiple airline databases. Airline A reserves a block of X seats from airline B. If A sells many seats from this block, it tries to increase X. For correctness, the value of X recorded in A's database must be the same as that recorded in B's database; this is a simple distributed copy constraint. However, the databases in the above example are owned by independent airlines and are therefore autonomous. Typically, the database of one airline will not participate in distributed transactions with other airlines, nor will it allow other airlines to lock its data. This renders traditional constraint management techniques unusable in this scenario. Our work addresses constraint management in such autonomous and heterogeneous environments. In an autonomous environment that does not support locking and transactional primitives, it is not possible to make "strong" guarantees of constraint satisfaction, such as a guarantee that a constraint is always true or that transactions always read consistent data. We therefore investigate and formalize weaker notions of constraint maintenance. Using our framework it will be possible, for example, to guarantee that a constraint is satisfied provided there have been no "recent" updates to pertinent data, or that a constraint holds from 8am to 5pm everyday. Such weaker notions of constraint satisfaction requires modeling time, and consequently, time is explicit in our framework. Most previous work in database constraint management has focused on centralized (for e.g., [?]) or tightly-coupled and homogeneous distributed databases (for e.g., [1],

Item Type:Techreport (Technical Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords:constraint management, autonomous systems, heterogeneous systems
Subjects:Computer Science > Data Integration and Mediation
Related URLs:Project Homepage
ID Code:67
Deposited By:Import Account
Deposited On:25 Feb 2000 16:00
Last Modified:02 Dec 2008 15:01

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