This paper presents
, a distributed directory protocol for shared objects, designed for large-scale distributed systems. Directory protocols support
requests, allowing to write the object locally, as well as
requests, providing a read-only copy of the object. They have been used in distributed shared memory implementations and in data-flow implementations of distributed software transactional memory in large-scale systems.
The protocol runs on an overlay tree, whose leaves are the nodes of the system; it ensures that the cost of serving a request is proportional to the cost of the shortest path between the requesting node and the serving node, in the overlay tree. The correctness of the protocol, including starvation freedom, is proved, despite asynchrony and concurrent requests. The protocol avoids race conditions by
requests that overtake each other as they pass through the same node. Using an overlay tree with a good stretch factor yields an efficient protocol, even when requests are concurrent.