Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Semantic Atomicity

  • Greg SpeegleEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_720




Let T be a transaction composed of subtransactions S0, S1, …Sn−1. Let C0, C1, …Cn−1 be a set of compensating transactions, such that Ci compensates for the corresponding Si. T is semantically atomic iff all Si have committed, or for all Si that have committed, Ci has also committed. A schedule (or history) ensures semantic atomicity if all transactions are semantically atomic. If T requires compensating transactions, then the resulting database is semantically equivalent to one in which T did not execute at all, but it is not guaranteed to be identical. Typically, two database states are equivalent if they both satisfy all of the database constraints.

Historical Background

Semantic atomicity is first defined in [6], with the use of countersteps to remove parts of a failed transaction executing in a distributed database environment, without rolling back the entire transaction. The “step” grew in complexity to a subtransaction with the introduction of sagas [7]....

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceBaylor UniversityWacoUSA