Conventional centralized optimization algorithms have challenge solving big optimization problems- at some scale, you simply can’t fit the problem on a single computer, let alone manage all of the variables. To solve this, researchers use decentralized optimization techniques to break the problem into a set of subproblems which can be rapidly solved on distributed computers or smart devices- but this exposes the optimization algorithm to cybersecurity threats from hacking these consumer-level devices. » Read More
Category Archives: Blockchains
I was honored to speak at Devcon3, the Ethereum Developers’ Conference, on my research on coordinating decentralized optimization with blockchains.
The attendees were a strange mix: 30-50% of the attendees were speculators who knew nothing about blockchains, but were frantically trying to understand the asset which had ballooned in their portfolio. » Read More
Blockchains and Energy: The Startup Space
As blockchains extend beyond financial transactions there has been a strong interest in the energy space- my research specialty, and the focus of my most recent paper on blockchains for securing decentralized energy markets.
Having watched other changes in the energy sector, » Read More
Wanxiang Global Blockchain Challenge Winners!
Great news- our proposal for a decentralized blockchain-based energy scheduling system won 2nd place in the Wanxiang Global Blockchain Challenge, the first step to getting our research out of the ivory tower and into industry!
Our proposal outlines an approach to creating the energy network which will power Wanxiang’s 90,000-person smart city (a 5-year, » Read More
Tutorial: Controlling Ethereum with Python
Ethereum makes it easy to run simple computations on blockchains while keeping the value of decentralized networks– but real applications will need access to off-blockchain resources, whether for heavy computations or pulling data from the internet. This tutorial walks through how to deploy a smart contract on a private test blockchain and use Python to read data from the blockchain or send data to the blockchain. » Read More
New paper: Decentralized Microgrid Controls
Solar panels, electric vehicles, smart appliances, and storage systems are rewriting the electricity production landscape. When used intelligently, these Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) can reduce cost, improve reliability, and help fight global warming by integrating more renewable energy into the electricity grid. » Read More
Blockchains, Trustlessness, and Game Theory
Blockchains are often described as “trustless”: this doesn’t mean that they can’t be trusted- but instead that the users don’t have to trust each other. In many applications, this is what sets them apart from conventional technologies- the lack of a centralized figure like a bank, » Read More
Build Your Own Blockchain: A Python Tutorial
Download the full Jupyter/iPython notebook from Github here
Build Your Own Blockchain – The Basics¶
This tutorial will walk you through the basics of how to build a blockchain from scratch. Focusing on the details of a concrete example will provide a deeper understanding of the strengths and limitations of blockchains. » Read More
What are Blockchains Good For?
Blockchains are difficult to understand, harder to implement, and yet have generated billion-dollar markets. This inscrutable success has given them the perception of having magical powers, and VCs have poured millions of dollars into the space in the hope of finding the right engineers who understand the technology and problem enough to create the killer blockchain app. » Read More