RFP-009: Proof of Space and Useful Space
A Proof of Space is a protocol that allows a prover to convince a verifier that he has a minimum specified amount of space (ie, used storage).
In Filecoin we are interested in proving useful space, that is storage space that can be used to keep real-world data. Therefore, we want the advice A of the PoS to encode some real data D, instead of just being a random incompressible sequence of bytes. This is the informal new property we are interested in each time we will talk about Proof of Useful Space.
A more formal way to capture the security requirements of the Filecoin decentralized storage network is using a proof of useful space that is actually a Proof of Replication.
Informally, this means that in addition to the space hardness property seen before for a PoS , the replica (that is the advice that now contains encoded data) has the extraction property. In other words, there is an extraction algorithm that can recover the original data from the interaction with a successful prover during the execution phases.
The solutions proposed for this RFP will address our published open problems on Proof of Space and Useful Space. Please review the problems in detail for requirements and constraints.
Scope of this RFP
The goal of this RFP is to stimulate improvements to the Proof of Space constructions used in Filecoin and other Web3 protocols. We are funding research that addresses any of the eight Open Problems listed in the above Open Problem Statement:
Problem 1: Simple graph-labeling based PoS in the time model
Problem 2: Graph-labeling based PoS in the cost model
Problem 3: Fewer communication rounds for repeated audits
Problem 4: Proof of Useful Space from hash-based PoS
Problem 5: Proof of Useful Space with data updatability
Problem 6: Tight hash-table based PoS construction
Problem 7: Incremental cost for parameters upgrades
Problem 8: Verifiable capacity-bound functions
Successful applications will include an explicit formulation of the objectives they propose to deliver, a description of the use-cases for which their solution is optimized, and a description of how the performance or correctness of the solution will be demonstrated and evaluated relative to the current state-of-the-art.
Solutions (or impossibility results) should take the form of a scientific paper or technical report. Additional follow-on funding is available to support the preparation of submissions to open-access journals and conference proceedings, including travel and presentation costs.
Rolling: we will be reviewing applications in batches corresponding to calendar months. The call will close on August 30, 2021 or earlier if awarded.
We expect the technical depth of the work to be at the level of a PhD student. We suggest that a team of one PI and one PhD part time for 9-12 months or one PI and one postdoctoral researcher part time for 6-8 months is appropriate for most problems.
Applicants may build a collaborative project with researchers from multiple institutions if desired.
Recommended expertise: Mathematicians and/or Computer Scientists familiar with Applied Cryptography, Codes, Information Theory, Proof of Storage
Up to $50,000 USD per proposal. Possibility of up to 20% paid in FIL.
60% upon award and 40% on completion (adjustable to accommodate institutional requirements).
Point of contact
Irene Giacomelli (@irenegia) and Luca Nizzardo (@lucaniz). We encourage you to reach out to email@example.com if you’re considering applying or have any questions.
Results are to be released as open source under the Permissive License Stack (Dual License Apache-2 + MIT).
The application consists of three forms in the left sidebar. You will need to complete each form individually, after which you must press the submit button to proceed to the next. Please note that the application form is a text-box submission form and will not accept PDF attachments.
You may allow additional individuals access to your application by using the collaborators feature in the left sidebar. The original form creator will, however, remain the point of contact throughout the application and evaluation process.
Please note: Proposals are considered and awarded based on individual objectives. We may choose to fund all objectives within a proposal or limit our funding to those most relevant and promising. Please be clear when describing your proposal's objectives and how you plan to achieve them. We assess applications competitively based on both budget and timeline, and prefer faster results even if the cost is the same. We will not cut budgets because they're taking less time than others).
To view past calls, visit our Github repo at https://github.com/protocol/research-grants/
For more information about Protocol Labs Research, visit our website at https://research.protocol.ai/