Models for Blockchain Systems: Analysis and Simulation

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Theory and Methodology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2024 | Viewed by 6816

Special Issue Editors

Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 30123 Venice, Italy
Interests: formal methods; programming language semantics; concurrency theory; performance evaluation
Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 30123 Venice, Italy
Interests: stochastic modeling, performance evaluation, reliability analysis, computer networks
Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, 61029 Urbino, Italy
Interests: formal methods; programming language semantics; concurrency theory; performance evaluation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Distributed computing has by now become a pervasive technology due to the widespread adoption of electronic devices connected by the Internet, which are used by individuals, companies, and institutions to perform an increasing number of activities digitally. One of the most prominent examples over the last decade is blockchain technology. This is a distributed ledger that permanently records transactions taking place among untrusted parties in a decentralized and disintermediated environment, which was devised to avoid the double spending problem on virtual currency platforms.

A number of shortcomings affect public, permissionless blockchains, including the excessive energy consumption required by the consensus protocol and conflicts between data immutability and regulations. In the specific case of innovative payment methods, there are also risks of losing monetary sovereignty and undermining financial stability, as witnessed by the fact that many central banks are exploring the issuance of what are termed central bank digital currencies (CBDC). For these reasons, private, permissioned blockchains are gaining momentum, as they could ultimately give businesses a greater degree of control.

Developing complex distributed systems based on blockchain technology is extremely challenging in terms of guaranteeing high levels of proper functioning, data protection, and quality of service.

This calls for a model-based approach in the early design stages so as to enable system property prediction.

This Special Issue encourages the submission of state-of-the-art research on formal methods for the compositional modeling of functional and non-functional aspects of the behavior and the structure of  blockchains.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Analysis of smart contracts.
  • Performance evaluation.
  • Simulation methods.
  • Verification methods.
  • Security issues.
  • Non-interference
  • Reversibility

Prof. Dr. Sabina Rossi
Prof. Dr. Andrea Marin
Prof. Dr. Marco Bernardo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • blockchain technology
  • formal models
  • performance evaluation
  • non-interference
  • reversibility

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

27 pages, 11398 KiB  
Article
An Approach for Risk Traceability Using Blockchain Technology for Tracking, Tracing, and Authenticating Food Products
Information 2023, 14(11), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/info14110613 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1297
Abstract
Regulatory authorities, consumers, and producers alike are alarmed by the issue of food safety, which is a matter of international concern. The conventional approaches utilized in food quality management demonstrate deficiencies in their capacity to sufficiently address issues related to traceability, transparency, and [...] Read more.
Regulatory authorities, consumers, and producers alike are alarmed by the issue of food safety, which is a matter of international concern. The conventional approaches utilized in food quality management demonstrate deficiencies in their capacity to sufficiently address issues related to traceability, transparency, and accountability. The emergence of blockchain technology (BCT) has provided a feasible approach to tackle the challenge of regulating food safety. This research paper presents a methodology for implementing blockchain technology to establish risk traceability in the context of monitoring, tracing, and authenticating agricultural products. The proposed system underwent a comprehensive evaluation, which placed significant emphasis on simulation parameters and assessment standards. The aim of the study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system through the assessment of various quantitative metrics, including throughput, latency, and resource utilization. The Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Caliper were employed in the formulation and assessment of algorithms intended for agricultural supply chain management. The configuration comprising two entities and two peers achieved the highest write throughput (205.87 transactions per second; TPS), thereby demonstrating the network’s effective transaction processing capability. In a two-organization, two-peer system, the mean latency for read operations exhibited variability spanning from 0.037 to 0.061 s, contingent upon the transaction rates and accounting for the duration needed for network processing and validation. The results were visually depicted, offering a distinct demonstration of the system’s efficacy under various conditions. This study presents a quantitative analysis that illustrates the efficacy of the blockchain system in enhancing the traceability of agricultural products across the entire supply chain. The results of this research suggest that the implementation of blockchain technology could potentially enhance both the security and efficacy of food supply management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Models for Blockchain Systems: Analysis and Simulation)
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14 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Liquid Proof-of-Stake in Tezos: An Economic Analysis
Information 2022, 13(12), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/info13120556 - 27 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1311
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate some economic fundamentals related to the Tezos blockchain platform under the Emmy* consensus protocol. The protocol is based on a liquid version of Proof-of-Stake, in the sense that users can temporarily delegate some or all of their Tz [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigate some economic fundamentals related to the Tezos blockchain platform under the Emmy* consensus protocol. The protocol is based on a liquid version of Proof-of-Stake, in the sense that users can temporarily delegate some or all of their Tz units to full nodes. In addition to increasing the stake of the full node, and thus the probability of being selected as a block baker/endorser, such delegation induces the property of the super-additivity of users’ selection probability of baking/endorsing a block. That is, with delegation, the selection probability may be larger than the sum of the selection probabilities without delegation. In this paper, we study how monetary holdings and stakes can evolve with time, also discussing the individual user and the market implications of delegation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Models for Blockchain Systems: Analysis and Simulation)
16 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Quadratic Voting in Blockchain Governance
Information 2022, 13(6), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/info13060305 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3532
Abstract
Governance in blockchain platforms is an increasingly important topic. A particular concern related to voting procedures is the formation of dominant positions, which may discourage participation of minorities. A main feature of standard majority voting is that individuals can indicate their preferences but [...] Read more.
Governance in blockchain platforms is an increasingly important topic. A particular concern related to voting procedures is the formation of dominant positions, which may discourage participation of minorities. A main feature of standard majority voting is that individuals can indicate their preferences but cannot express the intensity of their preferences. This could sometimes be a drawback for minorities who may not have the opportunity to obtain their most desirable outcomes, even when such outcomes are particularly important for them. For this reason a voting method, which in recent years gained visibility, is quadratic voting (QV), which allows voters to manifest both their preferences and the associated intensity. In voting rounds, where in each round users express their preference over binary alternatives, what characterizes QV is that the sum of the squares of the votes allocated by individuals to each round has to be equal to the total number, budget, of available votes. That is, the cost associated with a number of votes is given by the square of that number, hence it increases quadratically. In the paper, we discuss QV in proof-of-stake-based blockchain platforms, where a user’s monetary stake also represents the budget of votes available in a voting session. Considering the stake as given, the work focuses mostly on a game theoretic approach to determine the optimal allocation of votes across the rounds. We also investigate the possibility of the so-called Sybil attacks and discuss how simultaneous versus sequential staking can affect the voting outcomes with QV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Models for Blockchain Systems: Analysis and Simulation)
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