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Just-Right Consistency

Marc Shapiro at dotScale 2018

Marc makes the case for Just-Right Consistency: as available as possible, consistent when necessary, correct by design.


To see the slides, you can click here

More details

In a distributed data store, the CAP theorem forces a choice between strong consistency (CP) and availability and responsiveness (AP). To address this issue, we take an application-driven approach, Just-Right Consistency (JRC). JRC derives a consistency model that is sufficient to maintain the application invariants, otherwise remaining as available as possible.

JRC leverages application invariant-maintaining patterns. Two, ordered updates and atomic grouping, are compatible with concurrent and asynchronous updates, orthogonally to CAP. In contrast, checking a data precondition on partitioned state is CAP-sensitive. However, if two updates do not negate each other's precondition, they may legally execute concurrently. Updates must synchronise only if one negates the precondition of the other.

The JRC approach is supported by the CRDT data model that ensures that concurrent updates converge; by Antidote, a cloud-scale CRDT data store that guarantees transactional causal consistency; and by the CISE static analyser that verifies whether application invariants are guaranteed.

This research is supported in part by FP7 SyncFree, H2020 LightKone, and by ANR project RainbowFS.