Motivated by the increasing prominence of loosely-coupled systems, such as mobile and sensor networks, which are characterised by intermittent connectivity and volatile data, we study the tagging of data with so-called expiration times. More specifically, when data are inserted into a database, they may be tagged with time values indicating when they expire, i.e., when they are regarded as stale or invalid and thus are no longer considered part of the database. In a number of applications, expiration times are known and can be assigned at insertion time. We present data structures and algorithms for online management of data tagged with expiration times. The algorithms are based on fully functional, persistent treaps, which are a combination of binary search trees with respect to a primary attribute and heaps with respect to a secondary attribute. The primary attribute implements primary keys, and the secondary attribute stores expiration times in a minimum heap, thus keeping a priority queue of tuples to expire. A detailed and comprehensive experimental study demonstrates the well-behavedness and scalability of the approach as well as its efficiency with respect to a number of competitors.
|Number of pages||24|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|Series||TimeCenter Technical Report|