Life Beyond Distributed Transactions / Space-efficient Static Trees and Graphs

Papers We Love
Papers We Love
Public group
Location image of event venue


PLEASE NOTE: You _must_ have your real name on your account _and_ provide a photo ID at the entrance to attend, per the venue rules.

We've got two talks for you this evening!

Jonathan Brown will present Life Beyond Distributed Transactions by Pat Helland.


This paper explores and names some of the practical approaches used in the implementations of large-scale mission-critical applications in a world which rejects distributed transactions.

Jonathan Brown is a software engineer at Wallaroo Labs (, a role that has allowed him to explore and learn about many interesting problems in the distributed systems space.


Vaibhav Sagar will present Space-efficient Static Trees and Graphs by Guy Jacobsen.


In this era of bountiful disk space and unlimited cloud storage, it seems
ridiculous to claim that data takes up too much of it. But it does!

In this 1989 paper, Guy Jacobson (whose PhD thesis is credited with creating this field of research) introduces a set of techniques to create what he calls "succinct data structures", which approach the information-theoretical lower bound for space usage while still allowing useful operations to be performed on the resulting representation. They accomplish this by getting rid of pointers for linking data and operating directly at the bit level. These techniques are used to encode trees and planar graphs, and although the details have changed in the last 30 years, the fundamental concepts are very much the same and still the focus of active research.

Vaibhav (@vbhvsgr | used to write web applications for a living. He still does, but he used to, too. When he’s not doing that he yells about functional programming and package managers on Twitter, re-racks bumper plates after using them, and trawls the internet for the finest space disco.



620 8th Ave, 45th Floor
New York, NY 10018 USA
Doors open at 6:30pm EST


**Talks are always recorded on video and released ~2 weeks after the meetup.**

We hope that you'll read some of the papers and references before the meetup, but don't stress if you can't.

If you have any questions, thoughts, or related information, please visit #pwlnyc ( on slack (, our GitHub repository (, or add to the discussion on this event's thread.