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Formalizing and Implementing Distributed Ledger Objects

Antonio Fernández Anta, Research Professor, IMDEA Networks Institute, Spain
11 April 2018 -
1:00pm to 2:00pm

MR-1S1 [Torres] & MR-1S3 [Quevedo], IMDEA Networks Institute, Avda. del Mar Mediterráneo 22, 28918 Leganés – Madrid

Despite the hype about blockchains and distributed ledgers, no formal abstraction of these objects has been proposed. To face this issue, in this paper we provide a proper formulation of a distributed ledger object. In brief, we define a ledger object as a sequence of records, and we provide the operations and the properties that such an object should support. Implementation of a ledger object on top of multiple (possibly geographically dispersed) computing devices gives rise to the distributed ledger object. In contrast to the centralized object, distribution allows operations to be applied concurrently on the ledger, introducing challenges on the consistency of the ledger in each participant. We provide the definitions of three well known consistency guarantees in terms of the operations supported by the ledger object: (1) atomic consistency (linearizability), (2) sequential consistency, and (3) eventual consistency. We then provide implementations of distributed ledgers on asynchronous message passing crash-prone systems using an Atomic Broadcast service, and show that they provide eventual, sequential or atomic consistency semantics. We conclude with a variation of the ledger - the validated ledger - which requires that each record in the ledger satisfies a particular validation rule.

This is joint work with Chryssis Georgiou, Kishori Konwar, Nicolas Nicolaou. A first version of this paper is available at https://arxiv.org/abs/1802.07817 .

About Antonio Fernández Anta

Dr. Antonio Fernández Anta is a Research Professor at IMDEA Networks since 2010. Previously he was a Full Professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) and was on the Faculty of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), where he received an award for his research productivity. He was a postdoc at MIT from 1995 to 1997. He has more than 25 years of research experience, and almost 200 scientific publications. He was the Chair of the Steering Committee of DISC and has served in the TPC of numerous conferences and workshops. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of SW Louisiana in 1992 and 1994, respectively. He completed his undergraduate studies at the UPM, having received awards at the university and national level for his academic performance. He is a Senior Member of ACM and IEEE.

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This event will be conducted in English



NETCOM Research Group (Telematics Engineering Department, UC3M); IMDEA Networks Institute