An Australian engineer working at Oracle has been honoured for developing an algorithm to avoid data inconsistency in databases accessed by multiple users.
Dr Michael Cahill's algorithm had been implemented in some open source systems. He was also discussing its potential use with undisclosed commercial vendors.
He said most large databases used a multi-version algorithm to manage a number of clients accessing them simultaneously.
The existing multi-version algorithms worked well "most of the time" but their potential to produce inconsistent data could have serious consequences, Cahill said.
"I've changed the algorithm in multi-version systems so they keep track of more information," he said.
"By tracking some additional information about concurrent operations, the algorithm guarantees the traditional kind of correctness expected of a database, or, to use the correct terminology, prevents anomalies."
Cahill won the 2010 Computing Research and Education Association of Australasia (CORE) Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation prize for his research.
The thesis was titled Serializable Isolation for Snapshot Databases.
Cahill was also an alumnus of the University of Sydney.
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