Since database management systems (DBMSs) have limited lock resources, transactions requesting locks beyond the limit must be aborted, degrading the performance abruptly. Lock escalation can be effectively used in such circumstances to alleviate the problem. Many lock escalation methods have been proposed and implemented in commercial DBMSs. However, they have certain problems due to the local nature of their decisions on when to execute lock escalation. In this paper, we propose a new lock escalation method, global lock escalation. that makes such decision globally based on the total number of locks. Through extensive simulation, we show that the global lock escalation method outperforms the existing ones significantly. Especially, we show that the number of concurrent transactions allowable increases by 2-16 times. We believe our method can be easily implemented in the commercial DBMSs enhancing the performance significantly under excessive lock requests. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.