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Fee Transaction Priority

Additional fees were introduced to transactions as a method to allow users to bid for priority for their transactions in the leader's queue.

The fee priority of a transaction T can then be defined as F(T), where F(T) is the "fee-per compute-unit", calculated by:

(additional_fee + base_fee) / requested_compute_units

To ensure users get fair priority based on their fee, the proposed scheduler for the leader must guarantee that given T1 and T2 in the pending queue, and F(T1) > F(T2):

  1. T1 should be considered for processing before T2
  2. If T1 cannot be processed before T2 because there's already a transaction currently being processed that contends on an account A, then T2 should not be scheduled if it would grab any account locks needed by T1. This prevents lower fee transactions like T2 from starving higher paying transactions like T1.

Transaction Pipeline


  1. Sigverify
  2. Scheduler
  3. BankingStage threads

Transactions from sigverify are connected via a channel to the scheduler. The scheduler maintains N bi-directional channels with the N BankingStage threads, implemented as a pair of two unidirectional channels.

The scheduler's job is to run an algorithm in which it determines how to schedule transactions received from sigverify to the N BankingStage threads. A transaction is scheduled to be executed on a particular BankingStage thread by sending that transaction to the thread via its associated channel.

Once a BankingStage thread finishes processing a transaction T , it sends the T back to the scheduler via the same channel to signal of completion.

Scheduler Implementation

The scheduler is the most complex piece of the above pipeline, its implementation is made up of a few pieces. Note for now, all these pieces are maintained by the single scheduler thread to avoid locking complexity.

Components of the Scheduler:

  1. default_transaction_queue - A max-heap BinaryHeap<Transaction> that tracks all pending transactions. The priority in the heap is the additional fee of the transaction. Transactions are added to this queue from sigverify before the leader slot begins.
  2. all_transaction_queues - A VecDeque<BinaryHeap<Transaction>> that tracks all pending queues of work. Some pending queues have higher priority than others (as will be explained later in the Handling Completion Signals from BankingStage Threads section below). The list is ordered in priority from highest to lowest priority. On initialization, all_transaction_queues[0] = default_transaction_queue.
  3. locked_accounts - A HashMap<LockedPubkey, usize> that tracks the set of accounts needed to execute the current set of transactions scheduled/sent to banking threads. Accounts are added to this set before being sent to BankingStage threads. The usize represents a refcount, because multiple read accounts could be grabbed.LockedPubkey is defined as:
enum LockedPubkey {
  1. blocked_transactions - A HashMap<Signature, Rc<BlockedTransactionsQueue>> keyed by transaction signature, and maps to a BlockedTransactionsQueue defined as:
/// Represents a heap of transactions that cannot be scheduled because they
/// would take locks on accounts needed by a higher paying transaction
struct BlockedTransactionsQueue {
// The higher priority transaction blocking all the other transactions in
// `blocked_transactions` below
highest_priority_blocked_transaction: Transaction,
other_blocked_transactions: BinaryHeap<Transaction>
  1. blocked_transaction_queues_by_accounts - A HashMap<Pubkey, Rc<BlockedTransactionsQueue>> keyed by account keys.

Algorithm (Main Loop):

Assume N BankingStage threads:

The scheduler will run for each banking thread a function find_next_highest_transaction():

  1. Pop off the highest priority transaction next_highest_transaction from self.all_transaction_queues[0]. If `self.all_transaction_queues[0] is empty, pop off the first deque item and continue.

  2. Let transaction_accounts be the set of LockedPubkey keys needed by next_highest_transaction. We run the following:

    for account_key in transaction_accounts {
// Check if the `LockedPubkey` conflicts with any key in the `locked_accounts` set, which
// would indicate a transaction using this account with a conflicting lock is already
// running
if self.locked_accounts.is_conflicting(account_key) {
return Conflict;

// Check if any higher fee transaction has already reserved this account. This prevents
// lower fee transactions from starving higher fee transactions.
if self.blocked_transaction_queues_by_accounts.contains_key(account_key) {
return Conflict;
return NoConflict;
  1. In the case of a NoConflict we run:
    for account_key in transaction_accounts {

  1. In the case of a Conflict we run:
for locked_account_key in transaction_accounts {
let account_key = locked_account_key.key()
let blocked_transaction_entry = self.blocked_transaction_queues_by_accounts.entry(account_key);
match blocked_transaction_entry {
Occupied(existing_blocked_transaction) => {
// If there is already a set of transactions blocked on this account, add
// this transaction to the priority queue.

Vacant(vacant_entry) => {
// Create a new queue blocked on this transaction
let new_blocked_transaction_queue =
Rc::new(BlockedTransactionsQueue {
highest_priority_blocked_transaction: next_highest_transaction,
other_blocked_transactions: BinaryHeap::new(),
// Insert into the hashmap for this `account_key`
// Insert into the `blocked_transactions` hashmap to indicate this set of transactions
// is blocked by `next_highest_transaction`
  1. Run until all N BankingStage threads have been sent processing_batch transactions (i.e. hit step 3 above).

Banking Threads

  1. Banking threads maintain a queue of transactions sent to them by the scheduler, sorted by priority.
  2. Because the scheduler has guaranteed that there are no locking conflicts, the banking thread can process some M of these transactions at a time and pack them into entries

Handling Completion Signals from BankingStage Threads

Outside of the main loop above, we rely on BankingThreads threads signaling us they've finished their task to schedule the next transactions.

  1. Once a BankingStage thread finishes processing a batch of transactions completed_transactions_batch , it sends the completed_transactions_batch back to the scheduler via the same channel to signal of completion.

  2. Upon receiving this signal, the BankingStage thread processes the locked accounts transaction_accounts for each completed_transaction in completed_transactions_batch:

let mut unlocked_accounts = vec![];
// First remove all the locks from the tracking list
for locked_account in transaction_accounts {
if self.locked_accounts.remove_reference(locked_account) {

// Check if freeing up these accounts has now allowed any new
// blocked transactions to run
for account_key in unlocked_accounts {
if let Some(blocked_transaction_queue) = self.blocked_transaction_queues_by_accounts.get(account_key) {
// Check if the transaction blocking this queue can be run now, thereby unblocking this queue
if blocked_transaction_queue.highest_priority_blocked_transaction.can_get_locks() {
// Schedule the transaction to the banking thread


// If no higher priority transactions were unblocked, continue scheduling from the main queue,
// described in the main loop section above
  1. Check if the finished transaction was the blocking transaction for any queue:
if let Some(blocked_transaction_queue) = self.blocked_transactions.get(completed_transaction.signature) {
// Now push the rest of the queue to the head of `all_transaction_queues`, since we know
// everything in this blocked queue must be of higher priority, (since they were
// added to this queue earlier, this means they must have been peopped off the main
// `transaction_accounts` queue earlier, hence higher priority)