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IOTA: Development update on AIMD, dRNG, GoShimmer, Mana and FPC

  • Despite the focus on fixing the Trinity hack, the IOTA Foundation has made several advances over the past month in developing a Coordinator-free IOTA network.
  • Besides the selection of drand for the decentralized random number generator, Mana and the Fast Probabilistic Consensus have also received refinements.

The IOTA Foundation has given a status update on the development progress of various projects, such as the AIMD protocol, the decentralized random number generator (dRNG), GoShimmer, Mana and auto peering.

The last research meeting in Lisbon focused on Coordicide and a detailed definition of the structure of the nodes, the transaction structure and the way transactions are processed. Subsequently, the research team started working on the specifications of Coordicide (a kind of “yellow paper”).

Regarding the network, a Python based simulator was developed to evaluate the performance of the AIMD protocol (Additive-Increase/Multiplicative-Decrease). The simulator is used to test the probability of a transaction failure, the throughput and the ability of a node to output transactions based on its reputation value. The goal of the protocol is to prioritize transactions based on their size, type and timestamp.

The development of the decentralized random number generator (dRNG) for the IOTA network is also progressing. After analyzing all options, the dRNG working group selected the drand protocol, which has to be combined with the Mana algorithm in the next step. Furthermore, a first integration of the drand protocol into GoShimmer has been completed.

GoShimmer itself recently received version 0.1.0 and offers a lot of new features like zero value transactions and a salt-based auto peering. Currently, the IOTA Foundation is working on the implementation of value transactions. For auto peering, which ensures that the nodes in the tangle automatically find their neighboring nodes, a first round of simulations was completed. The results are currently being analyzed and summarized in research papers. However, the first simulation did not use Mana yet.

Mana and Fast Probabilistic Consensus (FPC)

The reputation system Mana proves that in a transaction the users own the ownership of the transferred IOTA quantity. The Mana is credited to the node for passing valid transactions to the network and the “Mana amount” of a node is used as a measure of trust or reputation to reward and reward “good” nodes.

With respect to Mana, new targets have been set. It was decided to calculate Mana with a moving average. This can limit the difference between the perception of Mana by any two nodes in terms of network delay. The underlying equations are currently under research.

The Fast Probabilistic Consensus (FPC) protocol has also made progress. It is the basis of the new consensus mechanism, which brings security to the Tangle after the Coordinator is removed. It is equivalent to the Byzantine Fault Tolerance, which means that a part of the nodes can work incorrectly or be affected by attackers without being affected in their functionality.

The FPC group has been working to reduce the communication overhead for the voting protocol, whereby the amount of Mana of a node has been identified as a key element in deciding how nodes should communicate.

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About Author

Jake Simmons

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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