Distributed Ledger Technologies for Managing Heterogenous Computing Systems at the Edge

Montero Hernández, Daniel; Peña Queralta, Jorge; Westerlund, Tomi

The increased use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices -- from basic sensors to robust embedded computers -- has boosted the demand for information processing and storing solutions closer to these devices. Edge computing has been established as a standard architecture for developing IoT solutions, since it can optimize the workload and capacity of systems that depend on cloud services by deploying necessary computing power close to where the information is being produced and consumed. However, as the network scale in size, reaching consensus becomes an increasingly challenging task. Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), which can be described as a network of distributed databases that incorporate cryptography, can be leveraged to achieve consensus among participants. In recent years DLTs have gained traction due to the popularity of blockchains, the most-well known type of implementation. The reliability and trust that can be achieved through transparent and traceable transactions are other key concepts that bring IoT and DLT together. We present the design, development and conducted experiments of a proof-of-concept system that uses DLT smart contracts for efficiently selecting edge nodes for offloading computational tasks. In particular, we integrate network performance indicators in smart contracts with a Hyperledger Blockchain to optimize the offloading on computation under dynamic connectivity solutions. The proposed method can be applied to networks with varied topologies and different means of connectivity. Our results show the applicability of blockchain smart contracts to a variety of industrial use cases.

(Google Scholar)