Potential Concurrent Engines for Ethereum?

By April 4, 2020Ethereum
Click here to view original web page at ethereum.stackexchange.com

I have been reading some papers on the topic of concurrency on blockchains, smart contract systems to be more specific. Most of the research in the last 3 years uses Ethereum as a reference of the smart contract chain. Some of these research claims up to 16 fold speedup under workloads with contention, given 32 threads, which is somewhat impressive to begin looking into this.

Yet, I have not yet seen any paper that addresses if and when any of their ideas can/will be ever implemented. Most assume EVM to be replaced with some other virtual machine which supports STM and other concurrency control primitives.

I was wondering if there has been any realistic discussion/conclusion around this in the past, and has it been revisited in the recent years? Technologies change, so will the potential smart contracts that might run on Ethereum and concurrency could have become more relevant ever since. This post and the referenced EIP is the best discussion that I have found so far. And while I have not read the EIP discussion in full yet, it does seem like some of the papers are suggesting more sophisticated approaches that might deserve to be tested.

Some papers:

Pang, Shuaifeng, Xiaodong Qi, Zhao Zhang, Cheqing Jin, and Aoying Zhou. ‘Concurrency Protocol Aiming at High Performance of Execution and Replay for Smart Contracts’. ArXiv:1905.07169 [Cs], 17 May 2019. http://arxiv.org/abs/1905.07169.Anjana, Parwat Singh, Sweta Kumari, Sathya Peri, Sachin Rathor, and Archit Somani. ‘An Efficient Framework for Optimistic Concurrent Execution of Smart Contracts’. ArXiv:1809.01326 [Cs], 14 January 2019. http://arxiv.org/abs/1809.01326.

Dickerson, Thomas, Paul Gazzillo, Maurice Herlihy, and Eric Koskinen. ‘Adding Concurrency to Smart Contracts’. ArXiv:1702.04467 [Cs], 15 February 2017. http://arxiv.org/abs/1702.04467.Saraph, Vikram, and Maurice Herlihy. ‘An Empirical Study of Speculative Concurrency in Ethereum Smart Contracts’.

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