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Wednesday
May202009

Paper: Flux: An Adaptive Partitioning Operator for Continuous Query Systems

At the core of the new real-time web, which is really really old, are continuous queries. I like how this paper proposed to handle dynamic demand and dynamic resource availability by making the underlying system adaptable, which seems like a very cloudy kind of thing to do.

Abstract:

The long-running nature of continuous queries poses new scalability challenges for dataflow processing. CQ systems execute pipelined dataflows that may be shared across multiple
queries. The scalability of these dataflows is limited by their constituent, stateful operators – e.g. windowed joins or grouping operators. To scale such operators, a natural solution is to partition them across a shared-nothing platform. But in the CQ context, traditional, static techniques
for partitioned parallelism can exhibit detrimental imbalances as workload and runtime conditions evolve. Longrunning CQ dataflows must continue to function robustly in
the face of these imbalances. To address this challenge, we introduce a dataflow operator
called Flux that encapsulates adaptive state partitioning and dataflow routing. Flux is placed between producerconsumer stages in a dataflow pipeline to repartition stateful operators while the pipeline is still executing. We present the Flux architecture, along with repartitioning policies that can be used for CQ operators under shifting processing and memory loads. We show that the Flux mechanism and
these policies can provide several factors improvement in throughput and orders of magnitude improvement in average latency over the static case

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