SENATE: A Permissionless Byzantine Consensus Protocol in Wireless Networks for Real-Time Internet-of-Things Applications


SOURCE  IEEE Internet of Things Journal, Vol: 7 No: 7 pp: 1478 - 1489

Published Date: Jul. 2020


The blockchain technology has achieved tremendous success in open (permissionless) decentralized consensus by employing Proof of Work (PoW) or its variants, whereby unauthorized nodes cannot gain a disproportionate impact on consensus beyond their computational power. However, PoW-based systems incur a high delay and low throughput, making them ineffective in dealing with the real-time Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications. On the other hand, the Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) consensus algorithms with better delay and throughput performance cannot be employed in permissionless settings due to vulnerability to Sybil attacks. In this article, we present a Sybil-proof wireless network coordinate-based Byzantine consensus (SENATE), which has the merits of both real-time consensus reaching and Sybil-proof, i.e., it is based on the conventional BFT consensus framework yet works in open systems of wireless devices where faulty nodes may launch Sybil attacks. As in a Senate, in the legislature, where the quota of senators per state (district) is a constant irrespective with the population of the state, “senators” in SENATE are selected from participating distributed nodes based on their wireless network coordinates (WNCs) with a fixed number of nodes per district in the WNC space. Elected senators then participate in the subsequent consensus reaching process and broadcast the result. Thereby, the SENATE is a proof against Sybil attacks since pseudonyms of a faulty node are likely to be adjacent in the WNC space and hence fail to be elected. The simulation results reveal that the SENATE can achieve real-time consensus (consensus delay under one second) in a network of hundreds of nodes.

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