Submitted: 23 September 2022
Accepted: 27 October 2022
Review A: 3. Weak accept
Review B: 4. Accept
Review C: 4. Accept
3. Weak accept
2. Some familiarity
This work proposes a middleware solution designed to support client-centric distributed computing paradigm. The problem of the work is strong eventual consistency in a Byzantine environment. The author proposes three protocol variants (i) State CRDTs with Merkle-tree to optimize for efficient state replication with update sets; (ii) a new leaderless BFT protocol design over gossip based protocols; and (iii) a cryptographically secure CRDT replication in an untrusted environment. The author has already published their work and implementation in a series of past publications (well done!).
Here are some comments to improve the quality of the draft and work:
Overall solid work.
2. Some familiarity
The work proposes to build a peer-to-peer network to build a client-centric web. The work mostly focuses on consistency models under different trust environments.
Peer-to-peer was a hot topic in the 2000's, I am surprised not to see work from that time more widely discussed. It fails out of the spotlight and it isn't as discussed. What has changed since? While would the author's proposed approach be more successful now than it was back then?
Another potentially relevant piece of technology is the "databox"-like propositions . It would be interesting to discuss and understand why this doesn't seem to gain much traction (technology? business model? etc.).
In short, there is a bunch of work that has proposed a more decentralized web model. It would be good to contextualize this work within this context and to articulate how this proposal is different and why it could succeed when others have failed.
1. No familiarity
The paper proposes three approaches of decentralized computing via client centric data replication that diminishes the dominance of server centric computing. The forum paper summarizes the properties achieved in the protocols for client side data replication that offer eventual consistency in a trusted and an untrusted setting and strong consistency in an untrusted setting.
It is a well written PhD forum paper that makes the problem definition clear and also summarizes the different contributions made towards an overarching goal that is the main goal of the thesis.