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My definition of optimism is:

Definition 3.3   An optimistic replication strategy employed by a client, C, with regards to a file, f, gives no guarantees.

Note, the version of, $f$, read or written may be or become inconsistent with the server version and there are no guarantees regarding updates.

Other systems have the same notion of optimism, i.e., that you can read and write to any replica without guaranteed success.

Coda and Ficus uses optimistic replication. Bayou uses a weak consistency scheme (i.e., the system is optimistic).