Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/516

CellTree: A New Paradigm for Distributed Data Repositories

Anasuya Acharya and Manoj Prabhakaran and Akash Trehan

Abstract: We present CellTree, a new architecture for distributed data repositories. The repository allows data to be stored in largely independent, and highly programmable cells, which are “assimilated” into a tree structure. The data in the cells are allowed to change over time, subject to each cell’s own policies; a cell’s policies also govern how the policies themselves can evolve. A design goal of the architecture is to let a CellTree evolve organically over time, and adapt itself to multiple applications. Different parts of the tree may be maintained by different sets of parties interested in the respective parts, and the core mechanisms used for maintaining the tree can also vary across the tree and over time.

We present provable guarantees of liveness, correctness and consistency (the last one being a generalization of the typical blockchain guarantee of “persistence,” when data is dynamic), when the CellTree architecture is instantiated using a simple set of modules. These properties can be guaranteed for individual cells that satisfy requisite trust assumptions, even if these trust assumptions do not hold for other cells in the tree.

We also discuss several features of a CellTree that can be exploited by applications. We leave it for future work to develop full-fledged applications on top of this powerful architecture.

Category / Keywords: applications / blockchain, distributed data repositories, CellTree

Date: received 17 May 2019

Contact author: mp at cse iitb ac in

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20190520:202005 (All versions of this report)

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