Distribution of Route-Impacting Control Information in a Publish/Subscribe System with Delivery Guarantees
Candidate: Yuanyuan Zhao
Advisor: Zvi Kedem


Event-driven middleware is a popular infrastructure for building large-scale asynchronous distributed systems. Content-based publish/subscribe systems are a type of event-driven middleware that provides service flexibility and specification expressiveness, creating opportunities for improving reliability and efficiency of the system.

The use of route-impacting control information, such as subscription filters and access control rules, has the potential to enable efficient routing for applications that require selective and regional distribution of events. Such applications range from financial information systems to sensor networks to service-oriented architectures. However, it has been a great challenge to design correct and efficient protocols for distributing control information and exploiting it to achieve efficient and highly available message routing.

In this dissertation, we study the problem of distributing and utilizing route-impacting control information. We present an abstract model of content-based routing and reliable delivery in redundant broker networks. Based on this model, we design a generic algorithm that propagates control information and performs content-based routing and delivers events reliably. The algorithm is efficient and light-weight in that it does not require heavy-weight consensus protocols between redundant brokers. We extend this generic algorithm to support consolidation and merging of control information. Existing protocols can be viewed as particular encodings and optimizations of the generic algorithm. We show an encoding using virtual time vectors that supports reliable delivery and deterministic dynamic access control in redundant broker networks. In our system, the semantics of reliable delivery is clearly defined even if subscription information and access control policy can dynamically change. That is, one or more subscribers of same principal will receive exactly the same sequence of messages (modulo subscription filter differences) regardless of where they are connected and the network latency and failure conditions in their parts of the network.

We have implemented these protocols in a fully-functioning content-based publish/subscribe system - Gryphon. We evaluate its efficiency, scalability and high availability.