Faculty Candidate Seminar

Everything I Know About Fast Databases I Learned at the Dog Track

Andrew PavloPh.D. CandidateBrown University

An emerging class of distributed database management systems (DBMS), known as
NewSQL, provide the same scalable performance of NoSQL systems while
maintaining the consistency guarantees of a traditional, single-node DBMS.
These NewSQL systems achieve high throughput rates for data-intensive
applications by storing their databases in a cluster of main memory
partitions. This partitioning enables them to eschew much of the legacy, disk-
oriented architecture that slows down traditional systems, such as heavy-
weight concurrency control algorithms, thereby allowing for the efficient
execution of single-node transactions. But many applications cannot be
partitioned such that all of their transactions execute in this manner; these
multi-node transactions require expensive coordination that inhibits
performance. Thus, without intelligent methods to overcome these impediments,
a NewSQL DBMS will scale no better than a traditional DBMS.

In this talk, I will present our research on integrating machine learning
techniques to improve the performance of fast database systems that is
inspired by my adventures at greyhound racing tracks. In particular, I will
discuss my work on the H-Store parallel, main memory transaction processing
system. I will first describe the Houdini framework that uses Markov models to
predict transactions' behaviors to allow a DBMS to selectively enable runtime
optimizations. I will then present Hermes, a method for the deterministic
execution of speculative transactions whenever a DBMS stalls because of
distributed transactions. Together, these projects enable H-Store to support
transactional workloads that are beyond what single-node systems can handle.
Andy Pavlo is Ph.D. candidate at Brown University working on database
management systems under the circumspect guidance of Stan Zdonik and Michael
Stonebraker. His most recent work is focused on the research and development
of the H-Store distributed transaction processing system (since commercialized
as VoltDB). Before this, he was a systems programmer for the Condor Project at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Miron Livny.

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