MSc Thesis Defense Announcement of Shiv Sondhi:"Empirical Performance Evaluation of Consensus Algorithms in Permissioned Blockchain Platforms "

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - 14:30 to 16:30


The School of Computer Science is pleased to present… 

MSc Thesis Defense by: Shiv Sondhi 

Date: Wednesday July 14, 2021  
Time:  2:30pm-4:30pm 
Passcode: If interested in attending this event, contact the Graduate Secretary at


Over the past decade or so, blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) have steadily made their way into the mainstream media. As a result, new blockchain platforms and protocols are emerging rapidly. However, the performance of the resultant systems, and their resilience in hostile network environments is yet not clearly understood. This thesis proposes a methodology to compare these platforms – and analyze the role of consensus protocols in determining system performance. It studies system performance in the face of network faults and varying loads, and provides a qualitative analysis of each shortlisted platform.  
The shortlisted platforms - Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth, and Cosmos-SDK - are all permissioned platforms, and were selected based on the consensus protocols they offer, namely Clique, Raft, PBFT, and Tendermint, respectively. The thesis discusses our selection criteria, the performance metrics used for comparison, and the steps followed to build a blockchain application on each platform. Considering the prominence of modelling techniques in the existing literature, we built stochastic models for each shortlisted protocol, and measured their performance too. Ultimately, this research aims to determine how the selected protocols stack up against eachother, and what the best way to measure their performance is –building applications or building stochastic models?  
The experiments show that both methods of performance measurement have their pros and cons. They also highlight the importance of platform architecture in the determination of system performance. Selecting consensus protocols and blockchain platforms are critical decisions for any blockchain system. However, different choices shine in different settings. To recognise the best choice for a given use-case, it is crucial to first compare the protocols - and this thesis does that based on performance. 
Keywords: Blockchain, Consensus Algorithms, Performance Measurement, Chaos Engineering. 

MSc Thesis Committee: 

Internal Reader: Dr. Boubakeur Boufama
External Reader: Dr. William Anderson
Advisor: Dr. Sherif Saad 
Chair: Dr. Xiaobu Yuan 

MSc Thesis Defense Announcement 


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