The VLDB Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 257-277

First online:

Concurrency control and recovery for balanced B-link trees

  • Ibrahim JalutaAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology Email author 
  • , Seppo SippuAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, University of Helsinki
  • , Eljas Soisalon-SoininenAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


In this paper we present new concurrent and recoverable B-link-tree algorithms. Unlike previous algorithms, ours maintain the balance of the B-link tree at all times, so that a logarithmic time bound for a search or an update operation is guaranteed under arbitrary sequences of record insertions and deletions. A database transaction can contain any number of operations of the form “fetch the first (or next) matching record”, “insert a record”, or “delete a record”, where database records are identified by their primary keys. Repeatable-read-level isolation for transactions is guaranteed by key-range locking. The algorithms apply the write-ahead logging (WAL) protocol and the steal and no-force buffering policies for index and data pages. Record inserts and deletes on leaf pages of a B-link tree are logged using physiological redo-undo log records. Each structure modification such as a page split or merge is made an atomic action by keeping the pages involved in the modification latched for the (short) duration of the modification and the logging of that modification; at most two B-link-tree pages are kept X-latched at a time. Each structure modification brings the B-link tree into a structurally consistent and balanced state whenever the tree was structurally consistent and balanced initially. Each structure modification is logged using a single physiological redo-only log record. Thus, a structure modification will never be undone even if the transaction that gave rise to it eventually aborts. In restart recovery, the redo pass of our ARIES-based recovery protocol will always produce a structurally consistent and balanced B-link tree, on which the database updates by backward-rolling transactions can always be undone logically, when a physical (page-oriented) undo is no longer possible.


B-link tree Transaction Concurrency control Tree-structure modifications Recovery