Blythe Masters and DAH had another crack of the technology whip this week with the launch of their Global Synchronization Log "GSL". You can read their 11 pager on it here.
The first function of the GSL is to ensure that "mutually exclusive events" are in fact unique. Or to put it another way, to ensure that smart contracts only exist in one place and that if an older contract is referenced by a newer contract, only the new one survives. Notably, the paper does away with the term "smart contract" altogether, opting instead for the more traditional term "contract." But in addition to ensuring duplicate contracts don't exist, the service works as a messaging system to inform all parties affected by a contract — perhaps thousands of them — that something has happened on the blockchain that they should know about. To do this, the contract is processed off-chain. This could include processing ranging from flows of transactional data to common models of workflow behavior.