SV: safely resolving conflicts on read

Erik Søe Sørensen ess at
Wed Nov 2 03:52:58 EDT 2011

What you'd usually do is somewhere between 2) and 3) - namely, accept that siblings might occur (although rarely). Also, you'd have a resolution function with the property (besides being deterministic) that reconciliating two identical siblings would yield the same - i.e., f(X,X) = X.
Fra: riak-users-bounces at [riak-users-bounces at] På vegne af Justin Karneges [justin at]
Sendt: 1. november 2011 21:34
Til: riak-users at
Emne: safely resolving conflicts on read

Hi, contains this text:

"It should be noted that if you are trying to resolve conflicts automatically,
you can end up in a condition with which two clients are simultaneously
resolving and creating new conflicts."

If conflict resolution is moved to the reader, I'm curious what strategies
people use to avoid this kind of feet stomping.

Some ideas that have come to mind:

1) Have a deterministic way of deriving a correct/unified/winner value from
multiple siblings, such that any reading client would always arrive at the
same answer.  Simply use this derived answer as the value read, but don't
attempt to write a corrected value into Riak.  The value could eventually be
corrected at the time of a necessary write as opposed to a read reaction.

2) Determine a correct value per #1 above, but then attempt to write this
value back into Riak in such a way that if multiple nodes were to write the
same value simultaneously then they don't create siblings.  I'm not sure if
this is possible in Riak?

3) Determine a correct value per #1 above, and allow exactly one node to ever
immediately write corrected values after a read.  Something like "if hash(key)
% node_count == current_node then do_correction".  Since value correction is
not vital to availability, there's no harm if the owning node is down.  I just
figure this would allow for self-healing over time.

Maybe there are other ways.  What do people really do?


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