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I have seen a lot of comments and questions that mention the Tezos mempool, however I have not seen a clear and concise description of what the mempool is.

A complete answer should cover the following

  • What is the purpose of the mempool
  • What does the mempool contain
  • How is the mempool managed
  • What are the immediate improvements that have been alluded to by the core developers and why are they important
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The mempool is a part of the shell (it self a part of the node).

  • The mempool is made of all transactions which have been submitted for inclusion in the chain but not included in a block yet by bakers.
  • Bakers can in principle choose any transaction in the mempool so they should choose those that maximize the amount of fees they receive under the double constraint of the gas limit and block size limit.
  • Right now it is managed directly by the node which lets you specify the min amount of fees you wish to receive and other fee parameters. You can also see here for more information on fees: Fees in proto 003?

Finally, details of the algorithm that bakers use to choose transactions in the mempool are given here.

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