Project #1 - Buffer Pool


During the semester, you will be building a new disk-oriented storage manager for the SQLite DBMS. Such a storage manager assumes that the primary storage location of the database is on disk. You will be using SQLite's Virtual Table interface; this will allow you use your storage manager in SQLite without changing application-level code. You do not need to know exactly how SQLite works to complete these assignments.

The first programming project is to implement a buffer pool in your storage manager. The buffer pool is responsible for moving physical pages back and forth from main memory to disk. It allows a DBMS to support databases that are larger than the amount of memory that is available to the system. Its operations are transparent to other parts in the system. For example, the system asks the buffer pool for a page using its unique identifier (page_id) and it does not know whether that page is already in memory or whether the system has to go retrieve it from disk.

Your implementation will need to be thread-safe. Multiple threads will be accessing the internal data structures at the same and thus you need to make sure that their critical sections are protected with latches (these are called "locks" in operating systems).

You will need to implement the following three components in your storage manager:

Although SQLite is written in C, all of the code in this programming assignment must be written in C++ (specifically C++11). We are providing you with the scaffolding to have your C++ code build and link with SQLite's virtual table API. If you have not used C++11 before, here is a short tutorial on the language. More detailed documentation of the language internals is available here

This is a single-person project that will be completed individually (i.e., no groups).

Please post all of your questions about this project on Canvas. Do not email the TAs directly with questions. The instructor and TAs will not teach you how to debug your code.

  • Release Date: Sep 11, 2017
  • Due Date: Oct 02, 2017 @ 11:59pm

Project Specification

For each of the following components, we are providing you with stub classes that contain the API that you need to implement. You should not modify the signatures for the pre-defined functions in these classes. If you do this, then it will break the test code that we will use to grade your assignment you end up getting no credit for the project. You should also not add additional classes in the source code for these components. That is, they should be entirely self-contained. Again, this is necessary to ensure that your implementation is compatiable with our testing infrastructure.

If a class already contains data members, you should not remove them. For example, the BufferPoolManager contains DiskManager and Replacer objects. These are required to implement the functionality that is needed by the rest of the system. You may need to add data members to these classes in order to correctly implement the required functionality. You can also add additional helper functions to these classes. This choice is up to you.

You are allowed to use any built-in C++11 containers in your project unless specified otherwise. It is up to you to decide which ones you want to use. Note that these containers are not thread-safe and that you will need to include latches in your implementation to protect them. You may not bring in additional third-party dependencies (e.g., boost).

Task #1 - Extendible Hash Table

For the first part of this project, you will build a general purpose hash table that uses unordered buckets to store unique key/value pairs. Your hash table must support the ability to insert/delete key/value entries without specifying the max size of the table. Your table needs to automatically grow in size as needed but you do not need shrink it. That is, you do not need to implement support for shrinking or compacting the hash table. You will also need to support checking to see whether a key exists in the hash table and return its corresponding value.

You must implement your hash table in the designated files in the project source code. You are only allows to modify the hash table header file (src/include/hash/extendible_hash.h) and its corresponding implementation file (src/hash/extendible_hash.cpp). You do not need to modify any other files. You may not use another built-in hash table internally in your implementation. You must implement the following functions in the ExtendibleHashTable class:

  • HashKey(K): For the given key K, return the offset of the Bucket where it should be stored.
  • Find(K, V): For the given key K, check to see whether it exists in the hash table. If it does, then store the pointer to its corresponding value in V and return true. If the key does not exist, then return false.
  • Insert(K, V): Insert the key/value pair into the hash table. If the key K already exists, overwrite its value with the new value V and return true.
  • Remove(K): For the given key K, remove its corresponding key/value pair from the hash table and return true. If the key K does not exist in the hash table, then return false.
  • GetGlobalDepth(): Return the current global depth of the entire hash table.
  • GetLocalDepth(bucket_id): Return the current local depth for the bucket at the given offset.
  • GetNumBuckets(): Return the total number of buckets allocated in the hash table.

You need to make sure that all operations in the hash table are thread-safe using std::mutex. It is up to you to decide how you want to protect the data structure.

Task #2 - LRU Page Replacement Policy

This component is responsible for tracking the usage of pages in the buffer pool. You will implement a new sub-class called LRUReplacer in src/include/buffer/lru_replacer.h and its corresponding implementation file in src/buffer/lru_replacer.cpp. This is a generic class that is used to keep track of when elements that it is tracking are used. You will need to implement the least-recently used policy discussed in the class and the textbook.

Your new class will extend the abstract Replacer class (src/include/buffer/replacer.h). You will need to implement the following functions:

  • Insert(T): Mark the element T as having been accessed in the database. This means that the element is now the most frequently accessed and should not be selected as the victim for removal from the buffer pool (assuming there exists more than one element).
  • Victim(T): Remove the object that was accessed the least recently compared to all the elements being tracked by the Replacer, store its contents in the value T, and then return true. If there is only one element in the Replacer, then that is always considered to be the least recently used. If there are zero elements in the Replacer, then this function should return false.
  • Erase(T): Completely remove the element T from the Replacer's internal tracking data structure regardless of where it appears in the LRU replacer. This should delete all tracking data from the element. If the element T exists and it was removed, then the function should return true. Otherwise, return false.
  • Size(): Return the number of elements that this Replacer is tracking.

It is up to you to decide how you want to implement the data structures to store the meta-data about the elements inside of LRUReplacer. For example, you can use the ExtendibleHashTable that you built in the first task or use a built-in STL container. You do not need to worry about a maximun size of the data structures. You can assume that you will not run out of memory. Again, you need to make sure that the operations are thread-safe.

Task #3 - Buffer Pool Manager

Lastly, you need to implement the buffer pool manager in your system (BufferPoolManager). It is responsible for fetching database pages from the DiskManager and storing them in memory. The BufferPoolManager can also write dirty pages out to disk when it is either explicitly instructed to do so or when it needs to evict a page to make space for a new page.

To make sure that your implementation works correctly with the rest of the system, we will provide you with some of the functions already filled in. You will also not need to implement the code that actually reads and writes data to disk (this is called the DiskManager in our implementation). We will provide that functionality for you.

All in-memory pages in the system are represented by Page objects. The BufferPoolManager does not need to understand the contents of these pages. But it is important for you as the system developer to understand that Page objects are just containers for memory in the buffer pool and thus are not specific to a unique page. That is, each Page object contains a block of memory that the DiskManager will use as a location to copy the contents of a physical page that it reads from disk. The BufferPoolManager will reuse the same Page object to store data as it moves back and forth to disk. This means that the same Page object may contain a different physical page throughout the life of the system. The Page object's identifer (page_id) keeps track of what physical page it contains; if a Page object does not contain a physical page, then its page_id must be set to INVALID_PAGE_ID.

Each Page object also maintains a counter for the number of threads that have "pinned" that page. Your BufferPoolManager is not allowed to free a Page that is pinned. Each Page object also keeps track of whether it is dirty or not. It is your job to record whether a page was modified when it is unpinned. Your BufferPoolManager must write the contents of a dirty Page back to disk before that object can be reused.

Your BufferPoolManager implementation will use the ExtendibleHashTable and LRUReplacer classes that you created in the previous steps of this assignment. It will use the ExtendibleHashTable for the table that maps page_id's to Page objects. It will also use the LRUReplacer to keep track of when Page objects are accessed so that it can decide which one to evict when it must free a frame to make room for copying a new physical page from disk.

You will need to implement the following functions defined in the header file (src/include/buffer/buffer_pool_manager.h) in the source file (src/buffer/buffer_pool_manager.cpp):

  • FetchPage(page_id): This returns a Page object that contains the contents of the given page_id. The function should first check its internal page table to see whether there already exists a Page that is mapped to the page_id. If it does, then it returns it. Otherwise it will retrieve the physical page from the DiskManager. To do this, the function needs to select a Page object to store the physical page's contents. If there are free frames in the page table, then the function will select a random one to use. Otherwise, it will use the LRUReplacer to select an unpinned Page that was least recently used as the "victim" page. If there are no free slots (i.e., all the pages are pinned), then return a null pointer (nullptr). If the selected victim page is dirty, then you will need to use the DiskManager to write its contents out to disk. You will then use the DiskManager to read the target physical page from disk and copy its contents into that Page object.
    IMPORTANT: This function must mark the Page as pinned and remove its entry from LRUReplacer before it is returned to the caller.
  • NewPage(page_id): Allocate a new physical page in the DiskManager, store the new page id in the given page_id and store the new page in the buffer pool. This should have the same functionality as FetchPage() in terms of selecting a victim page from LRUReplacer and initializing the Page's internal meta-data (including incrementing the pin count).
  • UnpinPage(page_id, is_dirty): Decrement the pin counter for the Page specified by the given page_id. If the pin counter is zero, then the function will add the Page object into the LRUReplacer tracker. If the given is_dirty flag is true, then mark the Page as dirty; otherwise, leave the Page's dirty flag unmodified. If there is no entry in the page table for the given page_id, then return false.
  • FlushPage(page_id): This will retrieve the Page object specified by the given page_id and then use the DiskManager to write its contents out to disk. Upon successful completion of that write operation, the function will return true. This function should not remove the Page from the buffer pool. It also does not need to update the LRUReplacer for the Page. If there is no entry in the page table for the given page_id, then return false.
  • FlushAllPages(): For each Page object in the buffer pool, use the DiskManager to write their contens out to disk. This function should not remove the Page from the buffer pool. It also does not need to update the LRUReplacer for the Page.
  • DeletePage(page_id): Instruct the DiskManager to deallocate the physical page identified by the given page_id. You can only delete a page if it is currently unpinned.


Setting Up Your Development Environment

Download the project source code here. Unpack the tarball on your development machine:

$ tar zxfv sqlite-fall2017.tar.gz

To build the system from the commandline, execute the following commands:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make

To speed up the build process, you can use multiple threads by passing the -j flag to make. For example, the following command will build the system using four threads:

$ make -j 4


You can test the individual components of this assigment using our testing framework. We use GTest for unit test cases. There are three separate files that contain tests for each component:

  • ExtendibleHashTable: test/hash/extendible_hash_test.cpp
  • LRUReplacer: test/buffer/lru_replacer_test.cpp
  • BufferPoolManager: test/buffer/buffer_pool_manager_test.cpp

You can compile and run each test individually from the command-line:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ make extendible_hash_test
$ ./test/extendible_hash_test

Do not run make check because this will try compile and run all of the test cases. This will fail because you have not implemented the next assigments yet.

Important: These tests are only a subset of the all the tests that we will use to evaluate and grade your project. You should write additional test cases on your own to check the complete functionality of your implementation.

Development Hints

Instead of using printf statements for debugging, use the LOG_* macros for logging information like this:

LOG_INFO("# Pages: %d", num_pages);
LOG_DEBUG("Fetching page %d", page_id);

To enable logging in your project, you will need to reconfigure it like this:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ make

The different logging levels are defined in src/include/common/logger.h. After enabling logging, the logging level defaults to LOG_LEVEL_INFO. Any logging method with a level that is equal to or higher than LOG_LEVEL_INFO (e.g., LOG_INFO, LOG_WARN, LOG_ERROR) will emit logging information. Note that you will need to add #include "common/logger.h" to any file that you want to use the logging infrastructure.

We encourage you to use gdb to debug your project if you are having problems. There are many tutorials and walkthroughs available to teach you how to use gdb effectively. Here are some that we have found useful:

Grading Rubric

Each project submission will be graded based on the following criteria:

  1. Does the submission successfully execute all of the test cases and produce the correct answer?
  2. Does the submission execute without any memory leaks?

Note that we will use additional test cases that are more complex and go beyond the sample test cases that we provide you.

Late Policy

See the late policy in the syllabus.


After completing the assignment, you can submit your implementation of to Autolab:

You only need to include the following files:

  • src/include/hash/extendible_hash.h
  • src/hash/extendible_hash.cp
  • src/include/buffer/lru_replacer.h
  • src/buffer/lru_replacer.cpp
  • src/include/buffer/buffer_pool_manager.h
  • src/buffer/buffer_pool_manager.cpp

You can submit your answers as many times as you like and get immediate feedback. Your score will be sent via email to your Andrew account within a few minutes after your submission.

Collaboration Policy

  • Every student has to work individually on this assignment.
  • Students are allowed to discuss high-level details about the project with others.
  • Students are not allowed to copy the contents of a white-board after a group meeting with other students.
  • Students are not allowed to copy the solutions from another colleague.

WARNING: All of the code for this project must be your own. You may not copy source code from other students or other sources that you find on the web. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. See CMU's Policy on Academic Integrity for additional information.