IEEE HotICN 2018 Beta

Blockchain: the Creation Spirit of “Avatar”

Information Centric Network: Honed Base of “The World of Pandora”

By Prof. Kai Lei (leik{@}, General Chair of IEEE hotICN 2018

Recently, the Blockchain technology has been a buzz topic with countless comments and discussion, even comes with “Midnight Sleepless Blockchain Wechat Group” and “Mutual Diss between Celebrities”, which floods into numerous onlookers with Bewilderment, anxiety, curiosity and exuberance. The concept and technology of Blockchain is deemed as complicated and mysterious to the majority, most of them is unable to recognize Bitcoin and Blockchain and figure out coin zone, chain zone and mine zone`, while the other pioneering majority take full use of the hotspot to conduct currency speculation and overseas ICO with zeal and expectation. The gradual understanding and acquaintance, along with the focus on the value and meaning of technology as well as distinct positive facet revealed in compliment articles published by mainstream media, such as, People's Daily, Xinhuanet and GMW, drives me to share my feelings about Blockchain as a three-year Blockchain scholar naturally, I’m grateful for your inclusiveness to my deficiency.

AS a research worker who has been engaged in computer related technology education, I have always felt very lucky and stressful, especially the recent five years witnessed the large span advancement in information technology, such as, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, future network, etc. This forces me to keep learning and renew knowledge even as a veteran, so as to take this opportunity to embrace the technology revolution, cultivate elites and make contributions, meanwhile, reveal the truth responsibly and accurately analyze the trend and direction with the awe to science all the time.

When giving lectures to students or discussing together, I always exemplify to motivate them, the most important thing is to let them not only understand professional principles but also figure out the history, causes, background and development direction of objects. What I frequently mention is that “understand the present and the past, know about the future”, no matter how many of the latest technology and scientific research you grasp today, it will be outdated in the future. The real ability is that how you treat and deal with matters with diverse way of thinking after you graduate enduringly. The reason why most of them do not comprehend the newly emerging Blockchain lies in their absence of social and financial experience, they do never involved in stock trade and have no idea of settlement, corpore, financial attributes and economic attributes. Therefore, some inner competition of simulation stock trading is presented to enhance their feelings in the class. It is willing for them to accept the examples from popular entertainment works , such as classic movies and TV series, which is easier to be understood and resonated directly.

Actually, many movies is suitable for students majoring in computer to look into the future blueprint of information technology development. “The matrix” is frequently mentioned in earlier times, Levi’s handsome appearance and his Chinese Kungfu alike dodging bullet shot impressed audience most. It is indeed the strongest scenario for future virtual reality, it is possible to be immortal with the advanced development of biotechnology and information technology in the future, what’s more, you thinking is able to ramble around the real environment and digital space or attached to a mechanized, biological carrier to be all-powerful, how the world and cosmic civilization revolute in the future with human being, computer and everything interconnect with each other?

Besides the 3D special effects of “Avatar” in 2010 brought the magnificent and gorgeous "first year mileage" audio-visual feast, the connotation of Hollywood blockbuster story is worth pondering. The theme that always revolves around controversy, evil, despair and redemption is more worrying about the struggle of human environment and civilization, and the distillation of culture and philosophy. The progress of civilization, people's desires, scheming and contradictions destroy the inherited kindness and the respect to nature. The Na’vi’s of Pandora Planet has already evolved a “braid” that is much advanced than the human computer due to the advanced technology and moral spirituality, while they still live in a primitive’s life with shabby clothes, the mix of which and hi-tech is totally inharmonious. The dubbed “ Barbarian” Toruk behave as “distributed consensus” with intensive belief and strength but lack of Blockchain alike co-maintenance of collective value and credibility only with merciless oppression and plundering, this two kinds demonstrate a sharp contrast! In the future with highly developed science and technology and civilization, is it possible for the post- Avatar civilization acts as the original ICO and creates a Ponzi scheme savagely and disorderly?

How to really understand the Blockchain

There are many introductions to the block chain on the network, and a lot of practical knowledge are also available. From the Characteristic of Blockchain, the generally accepted includes: decentration, disintermediation, distributed general ledger technology, non-tampering, traceable, smart contract, zero-knowledge proof, DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph), mining,etc. One book “Blockchain Tutorial” by Yuan Yifeng simply introduces several core points of Blockchain technology to help you get start. Absolutely, you’d better read Dorian S. Nakamoto’s papers and Bitcion code for in-depth understanding and research, the experience of constructing ordinary Blockchain and token is particularly needed to see how it works.

From the technical nature of the Blockchain, the most important thing is to understand the application scenario of the Blockchain and several basic principles.

1.Blockchain is not so mysterious and out of thin air

Blockchain has its history, in short, it is the underlying support technology of Bitcoin, which is gradually excavated with the development of Bitcoin, a solution that can solve the reliable transfer of credit value in a decentration or weak centralization scenario of an open environment. Blockchaining technology is an overall computer technology scheme with a variety of common technical means integrated so it is equipped with numerous characteristics, but it can’t be overstated. After all, it is still in its early stage and it takes long time to be mature. For instance, smart contract is considered to executive automatically by established rules, but its intelligence can’t be exaggerated. While there will be large space for the future research and promotion of Blockchain technology, for example, the combination of artificial intelligence reveals endless imagination.

From this aspect, I do agree with the Professor Zhang Shousheng, he fully explicits his idea on the book “ Blockchain is the New Turning Point in Internet World”. The world history can be described as the saying in “Romance of The Three Kingdoms”, that is, this world will separate after long time united. Also will do the opposite after long time pliting. The internet also abides by this rules, any application of large-scale information technology is featured by numerous forms, such as, centralization, distributed form and coordinated distributed form, etc. Therefore, fog computing followed by cloud computing, edge computing derives from data center.

2.Blockchain is not omnipotent superman who can solve all problems

For this aspect, Blockchain is confronted with its technical bottleneck. For instance, it is impossible for the virtual currency in Blockchain with Bitcoin included to act as currency in circulation within short time for its huge circulation, which is unavailable for the current technology to process efficiently. Meanwhile, the online Blockchain is unable to solve the offline problems, such as, the traceability, verification and anti-counterfeiting of various application is conducted based on its non-tampering and traceable features, Blockchain guarantees the strict chain data, while still faces the offline loopholes without strict regulations.

For example, you put the Moutai's anti-counterfeiting data on the chain, and the Block chain can only guarantee the reliability of it, Blockchain is unable to distinguish only if combined with offline management and technology if you change the wine into water. It is inaccessible for Blockchain to directly resolve the isolated information problems without totally link each trade system. One common example is, Blockchain has no idea of your medical record before the local medical data bases dock with each other, once they do, Blockchain can indeed greatly reinforce the practical value of the data circulation.

3.Not all problems need to be solved by Blockchain

The system cost of Blockchain is very high, including time cost, energy consumption cost, calculation and storage cost, which is an aggregation of distributed storage, distributed consensus, cryptography and data secrecy technology. A portion of its characteristics and functions are used into numerous applications, so it is not necessary to obtain an overall Blockchain Platform. It is grudging for Blockchain if it is adopted to resolve some problems, and it is indeed “make a fuss over a trifle”. For instance, it is more reasonable and efficient for an enterprise to perform centralized processing and supervisory management via terrific organizational structure and processing management without the cross-system, cross-value and cross-trade requirements. Currently , Blockchain is divided into private chain, consortium Blockchain and public chain, it is necessary to customize the analysis according to the timing scenario and tradeoff between the cost and the benefit when facing the selection scheme needed by applications.

Generally speaking, the closer to the open scenario, the closer to the application scenario of public chain, the Blockchain technology will be more useful and thorough. The choice of different distributed consensus algorithms is also particular, In general, the safer and less risky scenarios, such as the private chain, will confront better credit base of the members and the low probability of the potential attack, so it is accessible to make a consensus among some core nodes( not all network codes) to speed up the executive efficiency. It is not easy to construct public chain, the firm and strong strength and research accumulation is a must not only in technical level but also in attack-resisted robustness. Meanwhile, in terms of scale, Bitcoin has become the most successful public chain application, which is directly related to its long online time and large scale. The more the nodes involved in the consensus, the greater the power, the stronger the overall fault tolerance of the system. Basically, a public block chain application without scale guarantee and full consensus coordination is less significant, so it is better to use centralization, clouded and hierarchical architecture directly.

4.Token is the real diamond, it is the vision of Blockchain which is worthy expecting

It must be noted that Blockchain technology can be replaced by other technologies without Token, so what’s it’s unique charm lies in? definitely,it is Token! Token initially used in the field of network communication technology, in order to avoid network congestion and control scheduling, it originally refers to the “signaling ", similar to the traffic lights, only activates the Token-like pass certificate, corresponding data packets will be transmitted according to the instructions.

However, “Token” is literally translated in the semantic background of Blockchain in many written materials, in that , it was affected by Bitcoin, virtual currency or digital currency, while this interpretation is improper. Blockchain, an infrastructure for trading and circulation, its Token can represent the integral, privilege and gains right, meanwhile, it can undertake rights quantifiable value, that is to say with the advancement of digital process, more future digital assets can undertook by Token via the fine-grained quantifiable value.

So why the fine-grained quantifiable value is so important? It needs to be explicated thoroughly from the present and future social organizational patterns or collaborative pattern. Human civilization includes material civilization and spiritual civilization, it also refers to human evolution from the inherited barbarism of animals and the establishment of a fair ruled society by wisdom, such as Chinese civilization, ancient India civilization, Greek civilization and Egyptian civilization. The creation of steamer, electromotor, computer and nuclear reactor, each scientific and technological revolution ushers the milestone of “human nature”. The unprecedented development of science and technology and social productivity has profoundly changed the ecological civilization of the future. The Pandora Planet described by Cameron in “Avatar” is indeed a “natural brain”, which far exceed human’s wisdom, the free mutual benefit communism and fair sharing doctrine is powerful than human’s hi-tech.

Why do many people think that Blockchains will subvert social relations in the future and lead to changes in production relations? The most crucial thing is to understand that the Token quantifiable value of fine grain is able to construct more reasonable distribution system so as to reinforce the closer coordination and division work between diverse aspects of civilization, , meanwhile, form the multiple and multi-level incentive social relations based on credibility. The so-called “production relation” is decided by productivity, AI and Big Data has already ushered advanced productivity, so it is inevitable that Token will realize the communism and sharing productivity. Actually, this theory is not new, so I always tell my students that the Blockchain leaded by The Communist Party is the authentic path to realize communist economic model. The future is foreseeable, if you truly comprehend the connotation of Blockchain, then just go and ctach! How to effectively allocate and distribute according to work performance, the premise is the overwhelming abundance of productivity while establishing reliable distributed rules, that is to say, there should be no monopoly, such as, Wechat gains countless advertisement benefits from your Wechat moments but never spare you a cent, why you publicize the advertisements on your moments hopingly but without any advertisement fee returned?

Perhaps Tecent is not unwilling to, but because the complicated high cost to calculate your gains, openness is a kind of mind also of ability. The reason why the ICO chaos need to be powerfully regulated, it goes to the new technology and sophisticated model which requires government’s management. Nevertheless, there also exists such opinion: currency is the foundation of society rules, the currency right is the base of government, if government lost its base, then it will be in idle. In my eyes, it is a feudal-minded, which limited within the existing thought box and neglect the development of society, meanwhile, science and technology are the primary productive force, it is unreasonable to ignore its effect and behave as a feudalist in a republic society. It is promising to embrace the depicted future blueprint explicated in a report by ICO in Shenzhen CCF YOCSEF with the implementation of means and methods to thorough regulation by government.

I asked the students many times whether Ali Group promoted the market economy or hindered its further enhancement. They reach a consensus, all these problems need to be viewed dialectically with the background and the analysis of the times. In the early development period of internet and e-commerce, Ali definitely makes internet and economy prosper, and customers gain benefits from the convenience of which. While from the later stage, Ali’s “Double-Eleventh Promotion” in each year hits the record, it is also an interpretation of a new centralized mode. It is forseeable that the right distribution system of fine grained quantifiable Token conceals the dazzling civilization to the future Pandora World.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, still have a long way to go

Let’s back to technology, it is true that current Blockchain technology is still in early stage, it is confronted with more crucial problems: efficiency, security, computing and cost, which already existed before. The essence lies in the basic implementation of internet, the IP internet initially designed without considering the security, which always suppress the symptom without treating the root cause in following 60 years. Why spam do not disappear? The core is the three problems of current IP internet architecture listed as below:

1.Binding of Identity and Location

In other words, it is the binding of user and internet. A IP address is needed before they surfing on internet, it not only reveals users’ location (the work base of LBS) but also impedes the roaming and mobility, which makes attacks easy to reach the target. The WannaCry Bitcoin virus in May, 2017 sweeps the campus or enterprises only if one of their inner network is reached, meanwhile, for itself, its pay address conceals itself, so a lot of antivirus and pursuit methods are controlled and tracked via the IP address.

2.Binding of Control and Transmission

The other explanation is the binding of data resources and transmission end. It causes too much unnecessary consumption includes computing resource, network resource, especially the energy resource. The original P2P Maze Skynet created in IP network, it is a single file sharing application but once occupied about two-thirds education network traffic. The reason is the superimposed user data transmit between each other repeatedly with end-to-end path, the Beijing Youku server sends the data to Shenzhen which already existed in Shenzhen server, but why do not just take to use directly. This is unable to be solved even with CDN, which only solve the problems in data center and applied level with high redundancy and price, it is only used by power players, this fully demonstrate the reason why the income of live video and VOD is considerable but with small gains, the CDN company is the biggest winner. But more tragically, operators become fully occupied channels, they have no idea of charging because their audit of data is inaccessible to payers. The solution is insert the cache into network, which also serves as the core conception of Information Centric Network, the common demands should be satisfied by network, meanwhile, the botton of Blockchain is also a p2p network with similar peoblems.

3.Security (Identity) is not Bound to the Data

It is inaccessible for IP to recognize data and data owner, while the security of data transmission is guaranteed by the security of the connection between this two parties, similar to the transmission of natural gas, once the pipe leaks, the disaster happens. At the beginning, the network is limited in computing ability, the underlying level is unable to undertake much tasks, the design idea is the simpler, the better. With the development of hardware, the IPSec and VPN are added into IP protocol, it still has its defects. Especially the current network is increasing distributed, 5G, multi network and multi-protocol functionalize together and combine with each other, meanwhile, it is obvious that the synchronous transmission of multi-link is available, but the reality is IP conducts routing first and make rules based on the prepared path, similar to railway traffic which is in accordance with control and transmission of tracks, rigid and inflexible. The data security and identity is unreachable if the secure mode of IP is free from channel, Named Data Networking, as a leading future network architecture, is originally designed with public and private key encryption of all the data in the network, which is consistent with the concept of Bitcoin and Blockchain. It is a must to ensure the data security during authentic right, trading and settlement as digital capital, which is the core for Blockchain to construct valuable internet. However, it is rough and sophisticated to maintain by technology, in the final analysis, the underlying network infrastructure is less advanced.

ICN Infrastructure: the Foundation of Blockchain Technology to be Mature, the Honed Base of “The World of Pandora”

The Internet has become a vitol infrastructure to support the modern productivity and promote the development of the future social civilization. Internet develops at an unexpected speed, the content of the network ascends rapidly, and this trend is keeping accelerating. The future network put more emphasis on establishing Information Centric Network, which aims to realize large-scale efficient secure content access, sharing and distribution. The traditional IP network architecture adopts the design concept from the birth of network in 1960s, while its communication model is Location-Based, which only satisfies the transmission from end to end.

This inconsistency dedicates to countless problems, especially the data exchang between the various types of network, the TCP/IP protocol centric internet is facing increasing tough technical challenge and exposes prodigious inadaptability in network scalability, security, reliability, flexibility and mobility.

In the first school day of the year of dog, I told my students, you should not only focus on your research field, but also need knowledge reserve of other directions. Interdiscipline and intercross promotion has become the norm in today’s society, If we must know the key point, at least Future Network, Blockchain and Knowledge Graph( artificial intelligence technology based on text data processing), is the iron triangle of current knowledge system. In general, the future network, Blockchain and knowledge Graph all solve content-oriented distributed network, which takes graph as logical structure, and system computing. ICN network architecture aims to the transmission, forwarding, storage and computing of network content in the graph of computer network. Blockchain technology points at the security and reliability of trading data and account book in distributed graph structure of Blockchain. Knowledge Graph researches on the content processing, representation and analysis of natural language in structure of knowledge graph.

I have been involving in the “ Skeynet Maze”(once it is the biggest educational P2P file sharing application) for many years and worked in America Citi Group in 1999, so I have foresighted vision on the development of computer and financial. In 2014, the course of “The Internet Finance and Technology” and senior talent class ushered in Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School. Then in 2015, I felt that Blockchain is a classic distributed computer technology similar to p2p, which is able to relieve pain points of financial industry, such as, payment, settlement, transaction and voucher management., hence, I stepped into Blockchain and organized numerous seminar, forum and speeches( including present in 2017 and 2018 Hurun New Finance Report as academic guest).

Therefore, our laboratory organized the “2017 Future ICN Forum” on 26th, June, 2017, with three forums, main forum (ICN), Knowledge Graph sub-forum and Blockchain sub-forum. Chinese Academy of Engineering academician Liu Yunjie gave a talk, he clarified that the internet is gradually transfer from research type to consumption type to production type from its network function aspect. The first generation Internet focuses on the military and scientific research, the second generation is e-commerce represented by the world wide web, and now it is going into the third generation, that is, the future network. At present, the Internet is facing unprecedented challenges, such as scalability, security and mobility and so on, so it is imperative to usher new network architecture.

The future network infrastructure is of great significance for the creative research and development of new network architecture, system plan, vital technology and core equipment, meanwhile, it will provide necessary experimental verification conditions for the research of space network, optical network and quantum communication network, and will lead the development direction of domestic future network to strength our leading position in the world communication field. Looking into the future, ICN Infrastructure will be the foundation of Blockchain Technology to be Mature and the honed base of “The World of Pandora”, what’s more, 2018 IEEE International Conference on Hot Topics in Information-centric Networking (IEEE HotICN 2018) will be held to further explore and research ICN, Blockchain and Knowledge Graph.

Blockchain White Paper: the Victory Twilight of Unobtanium in Pandora Plannet

The architecture of the ICN and some innovation ideas future networks and Blockchain will be discussed together at this conference. Industry paper of Blockchain track is reachable, which exclusively accept the White Paper in Blockchain technical field to conduct the profound and discussion and exchange of crucial technology and industry solution.

What is White Paper? It is the technical documents released officially by organizations, the White Paper of Blockchain project is to display and explicit creative ideas, business mode, team ability , technical strength and development vision to the market, it serves as the significant base to judge the project. Currently, most circulating ones only depict hollow concept with altisonant advanced technologies piled or describe shallow algorithm and mode which can be understood easily by nonspecialists. It is difficulty to recognize its authenticity, merits and demerits, or the realization time, even its technical and competition risk.

The purpose of this conference is to organize the TPC(Technical Program Committee) by international well-known scholars, experts and officers from celebrated technology company, to pick up the universally accepted White Paper with academic and commercial value from numerous Blockchain White Paper via the Peer Review mode of internal academic circle. Meanwhile, the accepted industry paper must be presented at conference according to the IEEE rules, those dare to demonstrate to the public and face the challenge is probably deemed as authentic entrepreneur, creator and leader, thus further ensure the reliability and credibility of project. Besides, one month development of existing Blockchain equals to one year of traditional market, with such fast pace, it is a kind of protection of creative property right. The outstanding White Paper can be retrieved by EI around the world to open the door to prosperity and victory.

The Mutual-benefit Vigorous Fantasia of “Interstellar Civilization”-Interconnection between Human and Machine

With the rapid development of cognitive computing, the interconnection of all things, robots and life technology, the future society can bring endless longings, such as, terminator, extradimensional hacker, source code, inception, star trek and AI,etc. Human beings may no longer be the only intelligent life body in the galaxy, the interaction of human and machine is becoming increasingly frequent and close, to some extent, it is subverting or reinventing life, social and reproduction of human beings. It is imagined that human is no longer the only one on earth without a natural enemy nor is it no longer the center and master of civilization in the future. It is surprising that AlphaGo easily defeat human beings with powerful intelligence, even the Alpha Go Zero from the baby level without any help of historical chess manual or any human beings’ experience, just with less than 2-year self study, beat the super chess player AlphaGo. The interconnection between human beings and machine, even the non-mechanized intelligent living organisms and outer space life bodies, if you deeply think about this, you may feel horrible.

Openness and reciprocity is the inevitable road to the future super social civilization. In the future, human beings will coexist with a variety of productive contributors, and the civilization of win-win cooperation is the inevitable trend of development. The harmonious co-existence between human and nature is the essence of development, the harmonious thrive refers to the overall harmony between species, life organisms and non-living substance. The decentration of Blockchain is not “throw out”, but construct, it is necessary for the future vigorous civilization to be realized based on the construction of individuals/nodes centric co-operative coordinated foundation, which joint participants are entitled to benefit and share the benefits equally. The basic protocol of IP Internet enables the world to get the basic freedom of information transmission, but without the liberty to real data, value, identity and transaction, to reliability, security and verification, to credibility and traceability. While the Blockchain offers the reciprocal and open path of authentic Cyber digital society to the public, which is able to ensure value and credibility. It is the intelligent agreement and rules via distributed consensus that establish powerful productivity based fine-grained quantization to distribute the relations of production in accordance with demand, performance and rights. Actually, this may drive the overall network space to form super large distributed computing system, which is indeed a “ all-centric brain” or “brain chain”. The popularity of Blockchain technology will undoubtedly accelerate the executive speed of basic ecological protocol of natural evolution of the "survival of the fittest”, which will speed up the innovation and prosperity of future social civilization.

The symbiotic prosperous "brain chain" civilization must rely on mutual trust consensus, communism and mutual benefit, coordination and sharing, its thoughts and rules are breeded by Blockchain technology, which is the Creation Spirit of “Avatar” civilization, based on the current society, ICN is the honed base of “The World of Pandora”. As an educational research, I hope everyone joint together to explore the development path of Blockchain technology to be mature and the theoretical foundation of flourishing ecological civilization in the future, and at the same time I also call for the industry and academia to work together to resist the chaos, share responsibility and pioneer the advanced technology with Blockchain included.