T7: Wireless Distributed Consensus for Blockchain: How Much Communication Resource is Needed?
Organizer: Lei Zhang, University of Glasgow, UK
Abstract: Blockchain is built on a peer-to-peer network that relies on frequent communications among the distributively located nodes. In particular, the consensus mechanisms (CMs), which play a pivotal role in blockchain, are communication resource-demanding and largely determines blockchain key performance such as security, transaction throughput, latency and scalability. Most blockchain systems are designed in a stable wired communication network running in advanced devices under the assumption of sufficient communication resource provision. However, it is envisioned that the majority of the blockchain node peers will be connected through a wireless network in the future. Constrained by the highly dynamic wireless channel and scarce frequency spectrum, communication can significantly affect blockchain’s key performance metrics. In this in-depth tutorial, we start from presenting wireless blockchain networks (WBN) under various commonly used CMs and analyzing and demonstrating how much communication resource is needed to run such a network. In particular, we will answer the following questions:
(a) What is the role of communication and the procedures in WBN under various commonly used CMs (e.g., PoW, PBFT, Raft), with different network topologies (e.g. mesh, tree, etc.) and communication protocols (e.g. grant-based or contention-based)?
(b) What is the analytical relationship between blockchain performance and communication resource provision in different communication protocols?
(c) What is the optimal communication resource to achieve the best blockchain performance?
(d) How can we use blockchain to solve the most imperative challenges we are facing such as COVID-19?
This tutorial is part of the speaker’s most recent research on blockchain and distributed ledger technology. This proposal document clearly reflects the speaker’s expertise and his experience in this topic.
Bio: Dr. Lei Zhang is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the University of Glasgow. He has academia and industry combined research experience on 3G/4G/5G wireless communications and its applications to IoT, Blockchain, automation, data privacy and security. Dr Zhang is PI or Co-I of 10+ research projects funded by UK Research and Innovation, Scottish government and industry. His 19 patents (including 17 international PCT patents) are granted/filed in 30+ countries/regions including USA/EU/China/Japan etc. He has 100+ peer-reviewed publications, including 3 books. Dr Zhang is an associate editor of IEEE Internet of Things (IoT) Journal, IEEE Wireless Communications Letters and Digital Communications and Networks. He received the IEEE ComSoc TAOS Technical Committee Best Paper Award 2019. Dr Zhang is the founding Chair of Special Interest Group on Wireless Blockchain Networks in IEEE Cognitive Networks Technical Committee (TCCN), and he was Technical Program Chair for 5th International Conference on UCET 2020, Publication and Registration Chair of IEEE SAM 2018, Co-chair of Cyber-C 2019 Blockchain workshop. Dr Zhang’s research is broadly covered by media including BBC and Bloomberg.