[Bitcoin-development] Decentralizing ming

Emin Gün Sirer el33th4x0r at gmail.com
Sat Jul 19 00:54:36 UTC 2014

My apologies for posting to the wrong thread.

On Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 5:51 PM, Emin Gün Sirer <el33th4x0r at gmail.com>

> I thought I'd chime in and point out some research results that might help.
> Even if they don't, there is a cool underlying technique that some of you
> might find interesting.
> The problem being tackled here is very similar to "set reconciliation,"
> where
> peer A thinks that the set of transactions that should be in the block is
> S_A,
> and peer B has actually included set S_B, and S_A and S_B are expected
> to not differ much. Ideally, one would like the communication complexity
> between A and B to be O(delta), not O(S_B) as it is right now. And ideally,
> one would like B to send a single message to A, and for A to figure out the
> difference between the two sets, without any lengthy back and forth
> communication. In essence, I would like to give you some magical packet
> that is pretty small and communicates just the delta between what you and
> I know.
> This paper from Cornell describes a scheme for achieving this:
>    Yaron Minsky, Ari Trachtenberg, Richard Zippel: Set reconciliation with
> nearly optimal communication complexity. IEEE Transactions on Information
> Theory 49(9): 2213-2218 (2003)
>    http://ipsit.bu.edu/documents/ieee-it3-web.pdf
> Those of you looking for a TL;DR should read the intro and then skip to
> page 8 for the example. The underlying trick is very cool, comes from the
> peer-to-peer/gossip literature, and it is underused. It'd be really cool
> if it
> could be applied to this problem to reduce the size of the packets.
> This approach has three benefits over the Bloom filter approach (if I
> understand the Bloom filter idea correctly):
> (1) Bloom filters require packets that are still O(S_A),
> (2) Bloom filters are probabilistic, so require extra complications
> when there is a hash collision. In the worst case, A might get confused
> about which transaction B actually included, which would lead to a
> fork. (I am not sure if I followed the Bloom filter idea fully -- this may
> not happen with the proposal, but it's a possibility with a naive Bloom
> filter implementation)
>  (3) Bloom filters are interactive, so when A detects that B has included
> some transactions that A does not know about, it has to send a message
> to figure out what those transactions are.
> Set reconciliation is O(delta), non-probabilistic, and non-interactive. The
> naive version requires that one have some idea of the size of the delta,
> but I think the paper has some discussion of how to handle the delta
> estimate.
> I have not gone through the full exercise of actually applying this trick
> to
> the Bitcoin p2p protocol yet, but wanted to draw your attention to it.
> If someone is interested in applying this stuff to Bitcoin, I'd be happy
> to communicate further off list.
> - egs
> On Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 6:44 AM, Jeff Garzik <jgarzik at bitpay.com> wrote:
>> Yes.  That, and several other things.  If you can figure out how to
>> propagate a block without re-propagating all the transactions everyone
>> already has, you address the large-blocks-slower-to-relay problem, and
>> additionally create an incentive for miners to mine blocks consisting
>> of publicly broadcast transactions (versus a bunch of secret ones
>> mined with secret agreements).
>> Democratizing transaction selection takes a bit of power away from the
>> miners and gives it back to the network at large.  GBT is another
>> piece of that puzzle.
>> On Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 6:43 AM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:
>> > Oops, sorry, I see the subject line changed. This is what I get for
>> working
>> > down the thread list top to bottom :)
>> >
>> > I think the best path forward now is to finish off getblocktemplate
>> support
>> > in the various tools so it's possible to pool for payout purposes
>> without
>> > giving up control of block creation modulo the coinbase. Combined with
>> the
>> > recent sipa performance enhancing goodness, it would hopefully persuade
>> some
>> > non-trivial chunk of hashpower to go back to running their own node and
>> > start the process of turning pools merely into payout trackers rather
>> than
>> > block selectors.
>> >
>> >
>> > On Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 12:41 PM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Jeff, I think the message you're replying to got clipped.
>> >>
>> >> Satoshi's only comment AFAIK on the topic of GPU mining was to wish
>> for a
>> >> gentlemen's agreement to postpone it as long as possible, to help make
>> sure
>> >> the distribution of coins was as even as possible. Indeed this predated
>> >> pooled mining.
>> >>
>> >
>> --
>> Jeff Garzik
>> Bitcoin core developer and open source evangelist
>> BitPay, Inc.      https://bitpay.com/
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