Hao Tan, Master’s candidate
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
All-to-all data transmission is a typical data transmission pattern in both consensus protocols and blockchain systems. Developing an optimization scheme that provides high throughput and low latency data transmission can significantly benefit the performance of those systems. This thesis investigates the problem of optimizing all-to-all data transmission in a wide-area-network (WAN) using overlay multicast.
In this thesis, I first prove that in a congestion-free core network model, using shallow tree overlays with height up to two is sufficient for all-to-all data transmission to achieve the optimal throughput allowed by the available network resources. Based on this theoretical foundation, I build ShallowForest, a data plane optimization for consensus protocols and blockchain systems. The goal of ShallowForest is to improve consensus protocols’ resilience to skewed client load distribution. Experiments with skewed client load across replicas in the Amazon cloud demonstrate that ShallowForest can improve the commit throughput of the EPaxos consensus protocol by up to 100% with up to 60% reduction in commit latency.