Design and Implementation of a Blockchain Intent Management System

State: completed by Sandro Padovan

The concept of intents was first introduced in 2015 within the context of autonomic networking [1], leading to the creation of Intent-based Networking (IBN). In the IBN context, intents can be viewed as high-level abstract policies and define "what" and not "how" a networking system should achieve the defined goal [4]. However, there is still not a consensus on the level of abstraction and the definition of intents [3, 8, 6] from the network management community. Thus, this concept is being actively discussed and present an interesting research topic.

Further, the concept of intents is not restricted to network management, being applied to several areas and systems, from cloud management [2, 5] to blockchain selection [7]. The employment of intents helps to reduce the manual interaction and the technical knowledge from users of the systems to achieve a particular task, for example, selecting the most suitable blockchain based on high-level requirements, which is the topic of this thesis. Intents employed in the thesis follow the “for clientX, clientY and clientZ select the cheapest public, stable and popular blockchain except Bitcoin and Ethereum with splitting, redundancy and encryption until the daily costs reach CHF 10” format, where the keywords are automatically extracted from the sentence. A preliminary work on the topic was already conducted in the CSG in the context of a master thesis. However, this thesis focuses on the management of the intents, users, and information, and not on the refinement per se.

The goal of this thesis is to design and implement a web-based system able to manage intents defined by users, translate them, and configure related information. Previous work on intent refinement will be provided. Thus, the thesis will involve the design and implementation of a system that (i) allows users to input (i.e., write) their intents regarding blockchain selection, (ii) manages users, (iii) provide feedback to users, (iv) and manage intent with basic Create, Retrieve, Update and Delete (CRUD) functions. Additional requirements and thesis updates are to be discussed with the supervisor to align the supervisor's ideas with the student input.

[1] M. H. Behringer, M. Pritikin, S. Bjarnason, A. Clemm, B. E. Carpenter, S. Jiang, and L. Ciavaglia. RFC 7575: Autonomic Networking: Definitions and Design Goals, 2015. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7575, Last visit December 13, 2019.

[2] W. Chao and S. Horiuchi. Intent-based Cloud Service Management. In Conference on Innovation in Clouds, Internet and Networks and Workshops (ICIN 2018), pages 1–5, Paris, France, February 2018.

3] A. Clemm, L. Ciavaglia, L. Granville, and J. Tantsura. Intent-Based Networking - Concepts and Overview. Work in Progress, https://www.ietf.org/id/draft-clemm-nmrg-dist-intent-03.txt, Last visit December 10, 2019.

[4] Jacobs, Arthur Selle and Pfitscher, Ricardo José and Ferreira, Ronaldo Alves and Granville, Lisandro Zambenedetti. Refining Network Intents for Self-Driving Networks. SIGCOMM Comput. Commun. Rev., 48(5), January 2019.

[5] J. Kang, J. Lee, V. Nagendra, and S. Banerjee. LMS: Label Management Service for Intent-driven Cloud Management. In IFIP/IEEE Symposium on Integrated Network and Service Management (IM 2017), pages 177–185, Lisbon, Portugal, May 2017.

[6] C. Li, O. Havel, P. Martinez-Julia, J. Nobre, and D. Lopez. Intent Classification. Work in Progress, https://www.ietf.org/id/draft-li-nmrg-intent-classification-02.txt, Last visit December 10, 2019.

[7] E. Scheid, P. Widmer, B. Rodrigues, and B. Stiller. A Controlled Natural Language to Support Intent-based Blockchain Selection. In IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency (ICBC 2020), pages 0–9, Toronto, Canada, May 2020. Submitted. Under Review.

[8] Q. Sun, W. Liu, and K. Xie. An Intent-driven Management Framework. Work in Progress, https://www.ietf.org/id/draft-sun-nmrg-intent-framework-00.txt, Last visit December 10, 2019.

20% Design, 60% Implementation, 20% Documentation
Intermediate Web and Python programming skills, Basic database knowledge

Supervisors: Dr. Eder John Scheid

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