The Pit and the Pendulum

Lorenzo Alvisi – Professor, University of Texas at Austin 


Lorenzo Alvisi

Lorenzo Alvisi

Since the elegant foundations of transaction processing were
established in the mid 70’s with the notion of serializability and the
codification of the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation,
Durability) paradigm, performance has not been considered one of
ACID’s strong suits, especially for distributed data stores. Indeed,
the NoSQL/BASE movement of the last decade was born out of frustration
with the limited scalability of traditional ACID solutions, only to
become itself a source of frustration once the challenges of
programming applications in this new paradigm began to sink in.  But
how fundamental is this dichotomy between performance and ease of
programming? In this talk, I will share what my students and I have
recently learned while trying to overcome the traditional terms of
this classic tradeoff.


Lorenzo Alvisi is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the
University of Texas at Austin, where he holds an Endowed Professorship
in Computer Science. He is spending 2016-17 as a visiting scholar in
the Computer Science Department at Cornell University, where he
received his Ph.D. after earning a Laurea degree Summa cum Laude in
Physics from the University of Bologna, Italy. His research interests
are in the theory and practice of distributed computing, with a
particular focus on dependability. He is a Fellow of the ACM and IEEE,
an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, and the recipient of a Humboldt
Research Award, an NSF Career Award, and several teaching awards. He
serves on the editorial boards of ACM TOCS and Springer’s Distributed
Computing and is a council member of the CRA’s Computing Community
Consortium. In addition to distributed computing, he is passionate
about western classical music and red Italian motorcycles.