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Living with Database Conflicts: A Temporal Branching Technique


Heterogeneous as well as distributed databases make data conflicts inevitable. Both tolerate the entry of conflicting values in data objects, e.g., the value “female” may be entered by one user whereas another may put “male” in the same data object. Such inconsistencies in databases are common and are resolved routinely by built in structured mechanisms. Unresolved conflicts are typically quarantined till they can be resolved. But, there are situations for which there are no structured mechanisms to resolve conflicts while having to maintain application flow. Moreover, there are situations, i.e., medical or financial environments, in which conflicts must be stored so that their effects be analyzed for decision making. The current research proposes a model and a technique for living with database conflicts. The technique, named Temporal Branching, integrates and extends temporal oriented databases, temporal versioning, and log-file approaches and offers a solution and flexible structure readily accessible to retrieval and audits by standard DBMS software. A case study in health care delivery system is given to illustrate the problem and proposed solution.

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Correspondence to Roy Gelbard.

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recommend Ahmed Elmagarmid

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Gelbard, R., Spiegler, I. Living with Database Conflicts: A Temporal Branching Technique. Distrib Parallel Databases 17, 251–265 (2005).

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  • temporal oriented databases
  • distributed database
  • conflict resolution
  • data integrity
  • temporal versioning
  • check point
  • rollback and recovery