Hybrid Blockchain and Internet-of-Things Network for Underground Structure Health Monitoring
1.2. Objectives and Our Main Contributions
- We first propose blockchain–IoT-based distributed network for transparent and secure information sharing in SHM.
- We explain the consensus mechanism along with hash function of proposed architecture.
- We propose the use of blockchain-based smart contracts in SHM for autonomous decision making and control.
- We place the SHM data of an underground coal mine in a blockchain–IoT network to evaluate the feasibility and performance of the proposed model based on different parameters.
- We provide a side-by-side comparison in tabular form for state-of-the-art recent technological advancements in SHM with blockchain–IoT-based SHM network.
2. Preliminaries and Related Work
2.1. Applications of Blockchain and Blockchain–IoT
2.2. Smart Contracts
2.3. Status of Technology in SHM
3. System Design
3.1. Architectural Design Overview
3.2. Proposed Model Workflow
3.3. PoW Scheme Algorithm
|Algorithm 1. PoW consensus mechanism algorithm.|
|Input:input (In), complication (c), individual division (d), and division length (dl)|
Output: (N, k, B, M)
|Step 1||Build input-challenge-dependent memory Al [1 …T] as d individual divisions of length dl|
|Step 2||Compute root φ of the Merkle tree A|
|Step 3||Select Nonce N|
|Step 4||Compute ɣO = HS (N|| φ || k)|
|Step 5|| For 1 1 ≤ j ≤ B Do|
ij-1 = ɣj-1 modT
ɣj = Hs (ɣj-1 || Al [ij-1] ± k)
|Step 6||Back sweep in reverse order υ = Hs (ɣL ||...||ɣ1-lmod2 ± k)|
|Step 7||If υ contain c binary leading zeros, Then|
|Step 8||return (N, k, B, M)|
|Step 9|| Goto Step 3|
4. Study Models and Implementation
4.1. SHM Data Adoption
- The developed system is IoT-based for structural monitoring of an underground coal mine and operates efficiently under the harsh conditions of the mine;
- it provides an easy opportunity to combine the IoT–SHM system with a blockchain network;
- DIM has been clearly defined with detailed mathematical steps;
- DIM values range between 0 (undamaged) and 1 (damaged), which can be further divided into categories representing the mine structural conditions.
4.2. Smart Contracts
|Algorithm 2. Pseudo-code for registering a participant.|
|Inputs: No. of remaining unregistered participants (No.unreg), No. of modifications (No.mod), Hash value set of modifications (dH);|
Output: Participant’s public key (PPK), participant’s private key (PPVK), participant’s addresses (PAddr), participant secret key (PSK)
|Step 1||Fori = 0; i < No.unreg; i + + do|
|Step 2||network generates public key PPK and private key PPVK for participant Pi ϵ P|
|Step 3||PPK generates address PAddr for Pi|
|Step 4||network generates a random number Xiu ϵ Zq* for participant Pi|
|Step 5||network compute XiS = (X−Xiu) mod q and sends (XiS, Ui) to TA|
|Step 6||TA generates a random number yiu ϵ Zq* for participant Pi, computes yiS = (y − yiu) mod q and stores yiS|
|Step 7||Each Pi has its own secret signature key PSK (Xiu, yiu)|
|Step 8||end for|
|Step 9||returnPPK, PPVK, PAddr, and PSK|
4.3. Logical Flow of Smart Contracts
5. System Analysis
5.1. Simulation Setup
5.2. Network Performance Evaluation
5.3. Comparison to Traditional Systems
5.4. Data Security Analysis
- The generation and verification of a new block always requires most numbers of signatures from the authenticated members of networks. Signatures from authenticated members prevent the entrance of an unwanted member in the network and any change or manipulation of SHM data. Thus, such blockchain networks ensure data security.
- As in SHM, the data itself is nothing, but the valuable information extracted from the data has prime importance. Therefore, the present study has been designed to utilize threshold limit value smart contracts. The proposed system provides another layer of data security by simply deploying DIM-based smart contracts for autonomous decision making, instead of placing entire monitoring data in a decentralized network.
- The proposed system only stores the transactions in the form of a ledger. This provides data security for both SHM service providers and the client. A detail record of transactions can be recalled at any time for settling disputes and new design considerations upon the approval of participants.
- Our system provides security against external attacks, as any rogue node can attack the system by submitting an invalid change request. A smart contract will only accept the requests from the pre-identified and authorized participants. All the other requests are simply rejected by the system.
6. Discussions and Limitations
- The SHM data adopted in this study is from an underground coal mine, taken as an example to demonstrate the feasibility of blockchain-IoT networks and smart contracts for SHM. The smart contract presented here is only for the defined conditions, so it should not be considered as general for all types of structures. For its application in various domains of SHM, smart contracts should first be defined according to the required conditions of structures, which may cause changes in the overall flow of the smart contract.
- In the case of public blockchain networks, the efficiency of PoW is a big question, as it takes too long to place data in a blockchain, which is not acceptable for SHM applications. Therefore, further studies are needed to check the efficiency in the case of public networks.
- For a private blockchain network, it is advisable not to use the same block for all transactions.
- There is no mechanism that can ensure that all the data placed in a blockchain is secure.
Conflicts of Interest
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|DIM Value Range||Mine Condition|
|Functions and Properties||SHM Studies|
|Simple ||WSN [38,54]||IoT [41,42]||IoT-Cloud [19,20]||Proposed|
|Decentralize||Fully centralized||Fully centralized||Fully centralized||Partially centralized||Fully decentralized|
|Reliability||Highly unreliable||High data tempering||Data can be tempered easily||Easy data tempering||Transparent and trustworthy inter-organizational information sharing (No tempering, original data)|
|Data storage, privacy, security, and confidentiality||Low||Low||Medium||Medium||High (access control for participants)|
|Real-time||Near-real time||Yes||Yes||Yes||Near-real time|
|Communication and transparent information sharing||Only limited to monitoring||Limited to monitoring||Monitoring and data processing||Monitoring, data processing, and participant-to-participant (P2P) information sharing||Smart contract-based data analysis for autonomous decision making, participant-to-machine (P2M) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication|
|On-demand maintenance||Low||Low||Medium||Medium||Efficiently high|
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Jo, B.W.; Khan, R.M.A.; Lee, Y.-S. Hybrid Blockchain and Internet-of-Things Network for Underground Structure Health Monitoring. Sensors 2018, 18, 4268. https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124268
Jo BW, Khan RMA, Lee Y-S. Hybrid Blockchain and Internet-of-Things Network for Underground Structure Health Monitoring. Sensors. 2018; 18(12):4268. https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124268Chicago/Turabian Style
Jo, Byung Wan, Rana Muhammad Asad Khan, and Yun-Sung Lee. 2018. "Hybrid Blockchain and Internet-of-Things Network for Underground Structure Health Monitoring" Sensors 18, no. 12: 4268. https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124268