Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Database Systems

pp 2211-2216

Publish/Subscribe over Streams

  • Yanlei DiaoAffiliated withUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst
  • , Michael J. FranklinAffiliated withUniversity of California-Berkeley, Berkeley


Publish/subscribe (pub/sub) is a many-to-many communication model that directs the flow of messages from senders to receivers based on receivers’ data interests. In this model, publishers (i.e., senders) generate messages without knowing their receivers; subscribers (who are potential receivers) express their data interests, and are subsequently notified of the messages from a variety of publishers that match their interests.

Historical Background

Distributed information systems usually adopt a three-layer architecture: a presentation layer at the top, a resource management layer at the bottom, and a middleware layer in between that integrates disparate information systems. Traditional middleware infrastructures are tightly coupled. Publish/Subscribe [13] was proposed to overcome many problems of tight coupling:
  • With respect to communication, tightly coupled systems use static point-to-point connections (e.g., remote procedure call) between senders ...

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