Characterizing the consistency of online services (Practical experience report)

Filipe Freitas, Joao Leitao, Nuno Preguica, Rodrigo Rodrigues

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While several proposals for the specification and implementation of various consistency models exist, little is known about what is the consistency currently offered by online services with millions of users. Such knowledge is important, not only because it allows for setting the right expectations and justifying the behavior observed by users, but also because it can be used for improving the process of developing applications that use APIs offered by such services. To fill this gap, this paper presents a measurement study of the consistency of the APIs exported by four widely used Internet services, the Facebook Feed, Facebook Groups, Blogger, and Google+. To conduct this study, our work (1) proposes definitions for a set of relevant consistency properties, (2) develops a simple, yet generic methodology comprising a small number of tests, which probe these services from a user perspective, and try to uncover consistency anomalies that are key to our definitions, and (3) reports on the analysis of the data obtained from running these tests for a period of several weeks. Our measurement study shows that some of these services do exhibit consistency anomalies, including some behaviors that may appear counter-intuitive for users, such as the lack of session guarantees for write monotonicity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication46th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages638-645
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781467388917
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2016
Event46th IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN 2016 - Toulouse, France
Duration: 28 Jun 20161 Jul 2016

Conference

Conference46th IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, DSN 2016
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityToulouse
Period28/06/161/07/16

Keywords

  • Consistency
  • Internet online services
  • Measurement study
  • Session guarantees

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