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From "Jaeyun Noh" <metal...@gmail.com>
Subject Loosened transaction isolation level
Date Mon, 27 Oct 2008 05:33:39 GMT
Hi all, I have a question on transaction model implemented in HBase
(TransactionalRegion, which extends HRegion).

During the commit phase, HBase transaction checks conflicts between
read and write according to the timestamp-based CC.

In that code, I found that update transactions with any scan operation
seems to be rolled back by other update transactions. It will
seriously reduce success ratio of transaction commits when a scan
interleaves updates. Phantom reads can be prevented by key range
locking in theory, but this is impractical. So I understand that a
conservative model is used. Just locking a whole table.

In our case, we don't want a serious transaction isolation level. We
may don't need to prevent phantom read and even a non-repeatable read.
We just need a read-commit isolation level, preventing a dirty read.
In this case, I wonder that this conflict check model is really needed
in our use case.

So what about supporting more loosen transaction model in addition? We
can live with ReadCommitted isolation level. Maybe we can set an enum,
which indicates an isolation level, in the beginTransaction() method.

FYI, Following code is the conflict check method in TransactionState
used in TransactionalRegion class.

  private boolean hasConflict(final TransactionState checkAgainst) {
    if (checkAgainst.getStatus().equals(TransactionState.Status.ABORTED)) {
      return false; // Cannot conflict with aborted transactions

    for (BatchUpdate otherUpdate : checkAgainst.getWriteSet()) {
      if (this.hasScan) {
        LOG.info("Transaction" + this.toString()
            + " has a scan read. Meanwile a write occured. "
            + "Conservitivly reporting conflict");
        return true;

      if (this.getReadSet().contains(otherUpdate.getRow())) {
        LOG.trace("Transaction " + this.toString() + " conflicts with "
            + checkAgainst.toString());
        return true;
    return false;

Jaeyun Noh.

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