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Non-Blocking Two Phase Commit Using Blockchain

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul EzhilchelvanORCiD, Amjad Aldweesh, Professor Aad van Moorsel



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by ACM, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Though the 2 Phase Commit protocol (2PC) remains central to distributed database management, it has a provably-inevitable vulnerability to blocking even when a distributed system guarantees the most demanding synchrony or timing-related requirements. This paper investigates eliminating that vulnerability by coordinating 2PC using a blockchain that supports execution of user-defined smart contracts. It demonstrates that the 2PC blocking can be eliminated at a moderate financial cost, if the blockchain also meets the synchrony requirements. Otherwise, despite the blockchain being a reliable state-machine, eliminating 2PC blocking may well be impossible, depending on whether the cluster hosting the database is synchronous or not. Where not possible, the practical consequences turn out to be not so serious: unnecessary aborts occurring with a small probability.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ezhilchelvan P, Aldweesh A, van Moorsel A

Editor(s): Dr. Gabriele D'Angelo and Prof. Stefano Ferretti

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains for Distributed Systems (CryBlock'18)

Year of Conference: 2018

Pages: 36-41

Online publication date: 15/07/2018

Acceptance date: 15/05/2018

Date deposited: 19/09/2018

Publisher: ACM


DOI: 10.1145/3211933.3211940

PubMed id: 3211940

Notes: The first paper to use blockchain or distributed ledger to avert the well-impossibility that blocking is inevitable in the widely used 2 phase commit protocol.

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781450358385