LSEQ: an Adaptive Structure for Sequences in Distributed Collaborative Editing

Brice Nédelec 1 Pascal Molli 1 Achour Mostefaoui 1 Emmanuel Desmontils 1
1 GDD - Gestion de Données Distribuées [Nantes]
LINA - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Nantes Atlantique
Abstract : Distributed collaborative editing systems allow users to work distributed in time, space and across organizations. Trending distributed collaborative editors such as Google Docs, Etherpad or Git have grown in popularity over the years. A new kind of distributed editors based on a family of distributed data structure replicated on several sites called Conflict-free Replicated Data Type (CRDT for short) appeared recently. This paper considers a CRDT that represents a distributed sequence of basic elements that can be lines, words or characters (sequence CRDT). The possible operations on this sequence are the insertion and the deletion of elements. Compared to the state of the art, this approach is more decentralized and better scales in terms of the number of participants. However, its space complexity is linear with respect to the total number of inserts and the insertion points in the document. This makes the overall performance of such editors dependent on the editing behaviour of users. This paper proposes and models LSEQ, an adaptive allocation strategy for a sequence CRDT. LSEQ achieves in the average a sub-linear spatial-complexity whatever is the editing behaviour. A series of experiments validates LSEQ showing that it outperforms existing approaches.
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Brice Nédelec, Pascal Molli, Achour Mostefaoui, Emmanuel Desmontils. LSEQ: an Adaptive Structure for Sequences in Distributed Collaborative Editing. 13th ACM Symposium on Document Engineering (DocEng), Sep 2013, Florence, Italy. pp.37--46, ⟨10.1145/2494266.2494278⟩. ⟨hal-00921633⟩

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