March 13, 2020 –
Title: Towards Blockchain-based Industrial IoT Platform
Student: Gang Wang
Major Advisor: Prof. Song Han
Associate Advisors: Prof. Zhijie Jerry Shi and Prof. Shengli Zhou
Date/Time: Friday, March 13th, 2020, 3:00pm
Location: HBL Instruction 2119A (formerly Video Theater 2)
The fast-developing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies provide a promising opportunity to build large-scale systems to connect numerous heterogeneous devices into the Internet. Most existing IIoT infrastructures are based on a centralized architecture, which is easier for management but may become a bottleneck and is subject to various vulnerabilities, e.g., single points of failure. We need effective schemes to support immutable and verifiable services among the participating parties. Blockchain technology offers many desired features for large-scale IIoT infrastructures, such as decentralization, trustworthiness, trackability, and immutability. When integrating blockchain into IIoT platforms, it encounters many critical challenges inherent in IIoT and blockchain themselves, such as challenges in storage and scalability.
In this proposal, we seek opportunities to integrate blockchain into industrial IoT platforms. In the first part, we propose an architecture, called ChainSpiltter, partitioning the IIoT infrastructure into three layers: local IIoT networks, the blockchain overlay network, and the cloud. To address the storage challenges of blockchain-based IIoT platform, a novel blockchain storage structure is proposed to store the blocks in a hierarchical manner: the majority of the blockchain is stored in cloud to leverage its abundant storage capacity, while the most recent blocks are stored in overlay network of the individual local IIoT networks.
In the second part of this proposal, we propose a novel blockchain structure, SMChain, which is devised specifically to meet data immutability and trustworthiness among industrial plants. SMChain focuses on the design of the hierarchical chain structure and a scalable consensus protocol. Specifically, we adopt a two-layer blockchain design to fulfill the industrial scenarios (e.g., distribution and decentralization among distinct plants), leveraging the local chains that form independently within their own plants. Each plant is responsible for its own local chain without sharing information with other plants, and these local chains together form a state chain. Also, we design a scalable BFT protocol as the consensus protocol to construct the local chain.
As future work, we plan to address the scalability issue at the blockchain consensus level, and integrate the sharding technology to further tackle the scalability in the blockchain.