Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Sciences - (Ph.D.)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Chase Qishi Wu

Second Advisor

Qiang Tang

Third Advisor

Cristian Borcea

Fourth Advisor

Ali Mili

Fifth Advisor

Shouhuai Xu


Blockchain can be defined as an immutable ledger for recording transactions, maintained in a distributed network of mutually untrusting peers. Blockchain technology has been widely applied to various fields beyond its initial usage of cryptocurrency. However, blockchain itself is insufficient to meet all the desired security or efficiency requirements for diversified application scenarios. This dissertation focuses on two core functionalities that blockchain provides, i.e., robust storage and reliable computation. Three concrete application scenarios including Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity management (CSM), and peer-to-peer (P2P) content delivery network (CDN) are utilized to elaborate the general design principles for these two main functionalities. Among them, the IoT and CSM applications involve the design of blockchain-based robust storage and management while the P2P CDN requires reliable computation. Such general design principles derived from disparate application scenarios have the potential to realize practicalization of many other blockchain-enabled decentralized applications.

In the IoT application, blockchain-based decentralized data management is capable of handling faulty nodes, as designed in the cybersecurity application. But an important issue lies in the interaction between external network and blockchain network, i.e., external clients must rely on a relay node to communicate with the full nodes in the blockchain. Compromization of such relay nodes may result in a security breach and even a blockage of IoT sensors from the network. Therefore, a censorship-resistant blockchain-based decentralized IoT management system is proposed. Experimental results from proof-of-concept implementation and deployment in a real distributed environment show the feasibility and effectiveness in achieving censorship resistance.

The CSM application incorporates blockchain to provide robust storage of historical cybersecurity data so that with a certain level of cyber intelligence, a defender can determine if a network has been compromised and to what extent. The CSM functions can be categorized into three classes: Network-centric (N-CSM), Tools-centric (T-CSM) and Application-centric (A-CSM). The cyber intelligence identifies new attackers, victims, or defense capabilities. Moreover, a decentralized storage network (DSN) is integrated to reduce on-chain storage costs without undermining its robustness. Experiments with the prototype implementation and real-world cyber datasets show that the blockchain-based CSM solution is effective and efficient.

The P2P CDN application explores and utilizes the functionality of reliable computation that blockchain empowers. Particularly, P2P CDN is promising to provide benefits including cost-saving and scalable peak-demand handling compared with centralized CDNs. However, reliable P2P delivery requires proper enforcement of delivery fairness. Unfortunately, most existing studies on delivery fairness are based on non-cooperative game-theoretic assumptions that are arguably unrealistic in the ad-hoc P2P setting. To address this issue, an expressive security requirement for desired fair P2P content delivery is defined and two efficient approaches based on blockchain for P2P downloading and P2P streaming are proposed. The proposed system guarantees the fairness for each party even when all others collude to arbitrarily misbehave and achieves asymptotically optimal on-chain costs and optimal delivery communication.



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