Blockchain

The goal of this project is to apply Blockchain to solve various research challenges in 5G networks, VANETs, UAVNets, Finance etc.

Team Members

  • Vinay Chamola (Senior Member, IEEE)
  • Vikas Hassija
  • Gorla Praveen
  • Tejasvi Alladi
  • Nishad Sahu

Collaborators

  • Mohsen Guizani, Qatar University (Fellow, IEEE)
  • Richard Yu, Carleton University, Canada (Fellow, IEEE)
  • Joel Rodrigues, INATEL, Brazil (Fellow, IEEE)
  • Biplab Sikdar, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Sherali Zeadally, Univ. of Kentucky, USA
  • Georges Kaddoum,  École de technologie supérieure, Canada

Publications in Blockchain Area

Edit

5G and Blockchain are potentially revolutionizing future technologies. 5G promises high rates and quality of service (QoS) to the users and blockchain guarantees a high level of trust and security among the peers. Applications that would be using 5G have varying needs in terms of speed, bandwidth, latency and various other factors. Augmented reality, self-driving vehicles and other IoT applications tend to use 5G for reliable and fast communication. To work seamlessly and securely in such scenarios a more specialized and efficient approach would be required. In this paper, we have identified the specific areas where blockchain could be utilized to enhance the security and privacy of the 5G services offered to the users. The current challenges faced in deployment and upliftment of 5G and their related solutions based on blockchain are discussed. A model for Multi-Operator Network Slicing in 5G using blockchain is also presented along with 5G blockchain implementation.

Edit

The Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) network is, where the battery-powered vehicles provide energy to the power grid, is highly emerging. A robust, scalable, and cost-optimal mechanism that can support the increasing number of transactions in a V2G network is required. Existing studies use traditional blockchain as to achieve this requirement. Blockchain-enabled V2G networks require a high computation power and are not suitable for microtransactions due to the mining reward being higher than the transaction value itself. Moreover, the transaction throughput in the generic blockchain is too low to support the increasing number of frequent transactions in V2G networks. To address these challenges, in this paper, a lightweight blockchain-based protocol called Directed Acyclic Graph-based V2G network (DV2G) is proposed. Here blockchain refers to any Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and not just the bitcoin chain of blocks. A tangle data structure is used to record the transactions in the network in a secure and scalable manner. A game theory model is used to perform negotiation between the grid and vehicles at an optimized cost. The proposed model does not require the heavy computation associated to the addition of the transactions to the data structure and does not require any fees to post the transaction. The proposed model is shown to be highly scalable and supports the micro-transactions required in V2G networks.

Edit

Data sharing and content offloading among vehicles is an imperative part of the Internet of Vehicles (IoV). A peer-to-peer connection among vehicles in a distributed manner is a highly promising solution for fast communication among vehicles. To ensure security and data tracking, existing studies use blockchain as a solution. The blockchain-enabled Internet of Vehicles (BIoV) requires high computation power for the miners to mine the blocks and let the chain grow. Over and above, the blockchain consensus is probabilistic and the block generated today can be eventually declared as a fork and can be pruned from the chain. This reduces the overall efficiency of the protocol because the correct work done initially is eventually not used if it becomes a fork. To address these challenges, in this paper, we propose a Directed Acyclic Graph enabled IoV (DAGIoV) framework. We make use of a tangle data structure where each node acts as a miner and eventually the network achieves consensus among the nodes. A game-theoretic approach is used to model the interactions between the vehicles providing and consuming offloading services. The proposed model is proven to be highly scalable and well suited for micro transactions or frequent data transfer among the nodes in the vehicular network.

Edit

Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is rapidly increasing in various domains such as disaster management, delivery of goods, surveillance, military, etc. Significant issues in the expansion of UAV-based applications are the security of (IoT to UAV) communication, and the limited flight time of the UAVs and IoT devices considering the limited battery power. Standalone UAVs are not capable of accomplishing several tasks, and therefore swarm of UAVs is being explored. Security issues in the swarm of UAVs do not allow the applications to leverage the full benefits that one can offer. Several recent studies have proposed the use of a distributed network of UAVs to upgrade the level of security in the swarm of UAVs. In this paper, a framework for secure and reliable energy trading among UAVs and charging stations is presented. Advanced blockchain, based on the tangle data structure is used to create a distributed network of UAVs and charging stations. The proposed model allows the UAVs to buy energy from the charging station in exchange for tokens. If the UAV does not have sufficient tokens to buy the energy, then the model allows the UAV to borrow tokens from the charging station. The borrowed tokens can be repaid back to the charging station with interest or late fees. A game-theoretic model is used for deciding the buying strategy of energy for UAVs. Numerical analysis shows that the proposed model helps in providing increased utility for the swarm of UAVs and charging stations in a secure and cost-optimal way as compared to the conventional schemes. The results can eventually be applied to IoT devices that constantly need energy to perform under ideal conditions.

Edit

Parking lot allocation problem has received much attention in recent years. There have been various works in the literature that target the parking slot allocation problem. However, most of these works use algorithms that run on centralized servers and are based on some predictions on historical data. Due to the dynamic nature of vehicular networks, the accuracy of such prediction models is not high which ends up in a chaotic situation for the parking lot owners as well as the vehicle owners. Therefore, a distributed Parking slot Allocation Framework based on Adaptive Pricing Algorithm and Virtual Voting is proposed in this paper. The proposed model is based on virtual voting and hashgraph consensus algorithm. Using the model, all users and parking lot owners can easily come to consensus finality about the allocation of a parking slot with the use of minimal bandwidth. The proposed model provides a fair, fast and cost-optimal parking slot allocation method. The perfect ordering of allocation requests is also maintained based on consensus timestamp. Further, an adaptive pricing model is proposed to enhance the overall revenue of the parking lot owners and comfort of the users. The proposed model is deterministic and can reduce the average parking cost and time. Performance evaluations reveal that the proposed model outperforms its counterparts in terms of accurate parking slot allocation, reduced cost and parking lot resource utilization.

Edit

Smart Communities seeks to thrive in a context of broadband economy, its engine and reason for being. The success of any community is a function of its economic backbone or the supply chain. A supply chain can be defined as the integration of customers, retailers, distributors and manufacturers. The changing technology has made the survival in commerce highly competitive and price sensitive. Blockchain technology can be the game-changer for decentralizing infrastructure and building a trust layer for business logic. BlockCom is a commerce model based on the emerging technology of blockchain. This paper presents a double auction scheme for energy trading between customers and suppliers. A smart contract implements a distributed algorithm to maximize individual participating profit. Parties bid to smart contract which act as auctioneer for maximizing the profit. Mathematical parameter named credibility score has been created to deal with trust issues in the decentralized network using byzantine fault tolerant mechanism. BlockCom provides a fresh perspective on the concept of supply chain and commerce.

Edit

The potential of blockchain has been extensively discussed in the literature and media mainly in finance and payment industry. One relatively recent trend is at the enterprise-level, where blockchain serves as the infrastructure for internet security and immutability. Emerging application domains include Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Therefore, in this paper, we comprehensively review existing blockchain applications in Industry 4.0 and IIoT settings. Specifically, we present the current research trends in each of the related industrial sectors, as well as successful commercial implementations of blockchain in these relevant sectors. We also discuss industry-specific challenges for the implementation of blockchain in each sector. Further, we present currently open issues in the adoption of the blockchain technology in Industry 4.0 and discuss newer application areas. We hope that our findings pave the way for empowering and facilitating research in this domain, and assist decision-makers in their blockchain adoption and investment in Industry 4.0 and IIoT space.

Edit
Governments and public sector entities around the world are actively exploring new ways to keep up with technological advancements to achieve smart governance, work efficiency, and cost optimization. Blockchain technology is an example of such technology that has been attracting the attention of Governments across the globe in recent years. Enhanced security, improved traceability and lowest cost infrastructure empower the blockchain to penetrate various domains. Generally, governments release tenders to some third-party organizations for different projects. During this process, different competitors try to eavesdrop the tender values of others to win the tender. The corrupt government officials also charge high bribe to pass the tender in favor of some particular third party. In this paper, we presented a secure and transparent framework for government tenders using blockchain. Blockchain is used as a secure and immutable data structure to store the government records that are highly susceptible to tampering. This work aims to create a transparent and optimal system for the work-flow in government tenders to implement government schemes and policies by limiting human supervision to the minimal.
Edit
The rapid growth in information technology and related talent has let to a competition among the investors to look for the best available talent. Additionally, the diverse range of directions in technology, gives a lot of options to the applicants to choose from. In such a scenario, it is imperative to link the most appropriate investors and developers in a secure and cost optimal way. Blockchain technology helps in creating a decentralized network of users where the transactions are recorded in an open distributed ledger. These features of blockchain enable a transparent and cost-effective platform for different applications. Based on the need to an effective crowdfunding platform for developing smart nation and the inherent features of blockchain technology, we propose a global crowdfunding platform called BitFund. Investors and developers can act as different nodes of the network. The investors can request a specific project and they can give their initial bid value in terms of time, cost and maintenance required. Different developers can bid with different values of the same parameters to get the project ownership. A smart contract is deployed between the investors and the developers to reach an optimal solution for the investors. Multiple iterations of bidding are carried out between the developers until the optimal solution or equilibrium is reached. The experimental results show that the proposed model yields better results as compared to other generic algorithms for crowdfunding.
Edit
The unprecedented outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus, termed as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), has placed numerous governments around the world in a precarious position. The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, earlier witnessed by the citizens of China alone, has now become a matter of grave concern for virtually every country in the world. The scarcity of resources to endure the COVID-19 outbreak combined with the fear of overburdened healthcare systems has forced a majority of these countries into a state of partial or complete lockdown. The number of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases has been increasing at an alarming rate throughout the world, with reportedly more than 3 million confirmed cases as of 30 April 2020. Adding to these woes, numerous false reports, misinformation, and unsolicited fears in regards to coronavirus, are being circulated regularly since the outbreak of the COVID-19. In response to such acts, we draw on various reliable sources to present a detailed review of all the major aspects associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the direct health implications associated with the outbreak of COVID-19, this study highlights its impact on the global economy. In drawing things to a close, we explore the use of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and 5G, among others, to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 outbreak.
Edit
The recent advancement in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in terms of manufacturing processes, and communication and networking technology has led to a rise in their usage in civilian and commercial applications. The regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US had earlier limited the usage of UAVs to military applications. However more recently, the FAA has outlined new enforcement that will also expand the usage of UAVs in civilian and commercial applications. Due to being deployed in open atmosphere, UAVs are vulnerable to being lost, destroyed or physically hijacked. With the UAV technology becoming ubiquitous, various issues in UAV networks such as intra-UAV communication, UAV security, air data security, data storage and management, etc. need to be addressed. Blockchain being a distributed ledger protects the shared data using cryptography techniques such as hash functions and public key encryption. It can also be used for assuring the truthfulness of the information stored and for improving the security and transparency of the UAVs. In this paper, we review various applications of blockchain in UAV networks such as network security, decentralized storage, inventory management, surveillance, etc., and discuss some broader perspectives in this regard. We also discuss various challenges to be addressed in the integration of blockchain and UAVs and suggest some future research directions. Index Terms-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) network, security and privacy, blockchain technology, Internet of Things (IoT).
Edit
Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can be highly efficient in various applications like hidden area exploration, delivery, or surveillance and can enhance the quality of experience (QoE) for end-users. However, the number of drone-based applications are not very high due to the constrained flight time. The weights of the drones need to be kept less, and intuitively they cannot be loaded with big batteries. Frequent recharging and battery replacement processes limit the appropriate use of drones in most applications. A peer-to-peer distributed network of drones and charging stations is a highly promising solution to empower drones to be used in multiple applications by increasing their flight time. The charging stations are limited, and therefore, an adequate, fair, and cost-optimal scheduling algorithm is required to serve the most needed drone first. The proposed model allows the drones to enter into the network and request for a charging time slot from the station. The stations are also the part of the same network, this work proposes a scheduling algorithm for drones who compete for charging slots with constraints of optimizing criticality and task deadline. A game-theoretic approach is used to model the energy trading between the drones and charging station in a cost-optimal manner. Numerical results based on simulations show that the proposed model provides a better price for the drones to get charged and better revenue for the charging stations simultaneously.
Edit
After smart grid, Internet of Energy (IoE) has emerged as a popular technology in the energy sector by integrating different forms of energy. IoE uses Internet to collect, organize, optimize and manage the networks energy information from different edge devices in order to develop a distributed smart energy infrastructure. Sensors and communication technologies are used to collect data and to predict demand and supply by consumers and suppliers respectively. However, with the development of renewable energy resources, Electric Vehicles (EVs), smart grid and Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, the existing energy sector started shifting towards distributed and decentralized solutions. Moreover, the security and privacy issues because of centralization is another major concern for IoE technology. In this context, Blockchain technology with the features of automation, immutability, public ledger facility, irreversibility, decentralization, consensus and security has been adopted in the literature for solving the prevailing problems of centralized IoE architecture. By leveraging smart contracts, blockchain technology enables automated data exchange, complex energy transactions, demand response management and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) energy trading etc. Blockchain will play vital role in the evolution of the IoE market as distributed renewable resources and smart grid network are being deployed and used. We discuss the potential and applications of blockchain in the IoE field. This article is build on the literature research and it provides insight to the end-user regarding the future IoE scenario in the context of blockchain technology. Lastly this article discusses the different consensus algorithm for IoE technology.
Edit
With the integration of Wireless Sensor Networks and the Internet of Things, the smart grid is being projected as a solution for the challenges regarding electricity supply in the future. However, security and privacy issues in the consumption and trading of electricity data pose serious challenges in the adoption of the smart grid. To address these challenges, blockchain technology is being researched for applicability in the smart grid. In this paper, important application areas of blockchain in the smart grid are discussed. One use case of each area is discussed in detail, suggesting a suitable blockchain architecture, a sample block structure and the potential blockchain technicalities employed in it. The blockchain can be used for peer-to-peer energy trading, where a credit-based payment scheme can enhance the energy trading process. Efficient data aggregation schemes based on the blockchain technology can be used to overcome the challenges related to privacy and security in the grid. Energy distribution systems can also use blockchain to remotely control energy flow to a particular area by monitoring the usage statistics of that area. Further, blockchain-based frameworks can also help in the diagnosis and maintenance of smart grid equipment. We also discuss several commercial implementations of blockchain in the smart grid. Finally, various challenges to be addressed for integrating these two technologies are discussed.
Edit
The emergence of mobile cloud computing enables mobile users to offload computation tasks to other resource‐rich mobile devices to reduce energy consumption and enhance performance. A direct peer‐to‐peer connection among mobile devices to offload computation tasks can be a highly promising solution to provide a fast mechanism, especially for deadline‐sensitive offloading tasks. The generic blockchain‐based system might fail in such a scenario due to it being a heavyweight mechanism requiring high power consumption in the mining process. To address these issues, in this article, we propose a directed acyclic graph‐enabled mobile offloading (DAGMO) algorithm. DAGMO model is empowered by traditional blockchain features and provides additional advantages to overcome the fundamental limitations of generic blockchain. A game‐theoretic approach is used to model the interactions between mobile devices. The numerical analysis proves the proposed model to enhance the overall welfare of the participating nodes in terms of computation cost and time.
Edit
5G communications technologies are the backbone of future communications systems in satisfying different heterogeneous requirements of the industry and consumer applications. These systems rely on standardized protocols and heterogeneous architectures to engineer massive scaling of communication devices. Network Slicing (NS) can be incorporated into 5G to cater to the ever increasing needs of the smart communications, ranging from Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) to UltraReliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC). In this article, we present the performance analysis of such a network using real-world deployment and testing senarios and setting. To account for the transparency and security, a Blockchain-based model is integrated within the network operations. In particular, we carefully account for the latency aware operations of the Network Slicing along with its allocation by telecom providers using Blockchain. Furthermore, provisioning the Blockchain in the Network Slice allocations increases the transparency and efficiency of resource handling operations within the network.
Edit
The fifth-generation (5G) cellular technology aims at providing network services at high speed with reliable Quality of Service (QoS). To enable this, 5G deploys Massive MultiInput Multi-Output (MIMO) to increase the capacity of a Base Station (BS) and the efficiency of the network. Provisioning guaranteed and reliable services to support MIMO requires effective resource management. Blockchain is a highly promising solution to enable multi-dimensional management of various resources such as spectrum allocation and user association. It can potentially mitigate spectrum under-utilization and can help in scaling up the deployment of different 5G services. In this article, we present a model for Blockchain-based multi-operator service provisioning for 5G users. In particular, we present a Blockchain-based implementation model for spectrum sharing between the operators to minimize spectrum under-utilization.