Transaction errors

While working with Memgraph, you can encounter various transaction errors. Here are some of them, along with the instructions on how to handle them:

Conflicting transactions

If you are encountering issues with conflicting transactions or serialization errors, we're here to help. Join the conversation on Discord for support.

Error messages

  1. Unable to commit due to serialization error.
  2. Cannot resolve conflicting transactions.

Handling conflicting transaction and serialization error

Conflicting transactions and serialization errors are, in a sense, the same error that usually occurs when concurrent data imports and transactions try to work on the same data points simultaneously. This situation can occur in both testing and production environments. It's important that your code anticipates and handles these errors.

A common scenario that triggers an error is when two nodes in a graph are being updated by two different transactions attempting to add relationships between them at the same moment, changing a property, label, etc. The same applies to relationships as well. In essence, it is a write-write conflict. For example, if both transactions try to add a relationship at the same time to an identical node, the error will happen.

To address these problems, consider the following strategies:

  • Retry the transaction: The basic approach would be to retry the transaction that failed. This can be done by catching the error and then retrying the transaction. This is a simple and effective way to handle the error.

    Here is an example of how to do it in Python via Neo4j client:

    def process_chunk(query, create_list, max_retries=100, initial_wait_time=0.200, backoff_factor=1.1, jitter=0.1):
      session = GraphDatabase.driver("bolt://localhost:7687", auth=("", "")).session()
      for attempt in range(max_retries):
              with session.begin_transaction() as tx:
        , {"batch": create_list})
          except TransientError as te:
              jitter = random.uniform(0, jitter) * initial_wait_time 
              wait_time = initial_wait_time * (backoff_factor ** attempt) + jitter
              print(f"Commit failed on attempt {attempt+1}. Retrying in {wait_time} seconds...")
          except Exception as e:
              print(f"Failed to execute transaction: {e}")
              raise e

    Keep in mind that adjusting the max_retries, initial_wait_time, backoff_factor, and jitter is important to avoid overloading the system with retries. For more information on how to handle retries and adjust parameters, please refer to the respective client documentation since examples will vary based on different clients.

  • Understand the client you are using: Neo4j clients in managed transactions have built-in logic to retry transactions that fail due to serialization errors automatically. Typically, a timeout is associated with these retries, after which the client will forward the error to the application code. Developers must be aware of this and implement additional error handling as required.

    Here is an example of Managed API in Python Neo4j Driver:

    def process_chunk_managed_API(query, create_list):
      driver = GraphDatabase.driver(HOST_PORT, auth=("", ""))
      with driver.session(max_transaction_retry_time=180.0, initial_retry_delay=0.2, retry_delay_multiplier=1.1, retry_delay_jitter_factor=0.1) as session:
          session.execute_write(lambda tx:, {"batch": create_list}))

    Again, for the details of how specific clients work, please refer to the respective client documentation.

  • Avoid conflicts: This can be done by implementing application-level logic to prevent concurrent transactions from modifying the same data points. This strategy can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering errors. It will also lead to better performance since the system is not spending time resolving conflict.

Handling serialization errors effectively is essential for maintaining a smooth user experience and ensuring the reliability of your application. Implementing robust error handling and conflict avoidance mechanisms can mitigate the impact of these errors.

While some client drivers may handle serialization errors by retrying transactions, developers should not rely solely on this mechanism. Always include comprehensive error handling in your application to address cases where the error persists beyond the retry logic.

Transaction timeout

Error message

  1. Transaction was asked to abort because of transaction timeout.

Handling transaction timeout

The transaction that is running exceeds the query execution timeout that is set in the Memgraph configuration to 600 seconds by default. To change that, update the flag --query-execution-timeout-sec value to a value that is large enough to handle the transaction (query) you're running or set it to 0 for no limit.

Here are the instructions on how to update the configuration.

If you weren't able to find the error, please submit it through a Support Ticket so we can look into it and get back to you.