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Blockchain consensus mechanisms: the case of natural disasters
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Systems and Control.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Blockchain is described as a trustworthy distributed service for parties that do not fully trust each other. It enables business transactions to be handled without a third party or central governance. For this distributed and concurrent communication to work, a consensus mechanism needs to be implemented into the blockchain protocol. This mechanism will dictate how and when new blocks can be added and in some cases, by whom.

The medical industry suffers from many informational inefficiencies. Data is scattered across many different databases and the lack of coordination often results in mishandling of the data. This is especially clear when a natural disaster hits and time is of the essence.

The purpose of this thesis is to assess how much a blockchain solution and its consensus mechanism can resist unusual behavior before they behave erratically. This involves analyzing design parameters and translating parameters from a disaster into a simulation to run tests. Overall, this thesis will explore if blockchain is a compatible solution to the difficulties in natural disaster response. This was obtained by conducting a qualitative study and developing a prototype and simulating disaster parameters in the prototype blockchain network. A set of test cases was created.

The results show that the resilience differs significantly depending on consensus mechanism. Key parameters include consensus finality, scalability, byzantine tolerance, performance and blockchain type. Blockchain is well suited to handle typical challenges in natural disaster response: it results in faster allocation of medical care and more accurate information collection, as well as in a system which allows seamlessly for the integration of external organizations in the blockchain network. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 52
Series
UPTEC STS, ISSN 1650-8319 ; 18028
Keywords [en]
Blockchain, consensus, proof of work, medical industry, natural disaster, resilience
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-355715OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-355715DiVA, id: diva2:1230400
External cooperation
IBM Svenska AB
Educational program
Systems in Technology and Society Programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-07-04 Created: 2018-07-03 Last updated: 2018-07-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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