We have a key-value map bean which deadlocks during some concurrent reads. Isolation levels seem to affect the database only, and we need to work within a transaction. - The only thing that comes to (my) mind is that you could write a ‘group accessor’ - a method that returns a single object containing all of your entity bean’s attributes (or all interesting attributes).
This method could then be placed in a ‘Requires New’ transaction. This way, the current transaction would be suspended for the duration of the call to the entity bean and the entity bean’s fetch/operate/commit cycle will be in a separate transaction and any locks should be released immediately. Depending on the granularity of what you need to pull out of the map, the group accessor might be overkill.