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Speeding up Proof-of-Replication (via space-tradeoffs) #95
Background on PoRep
Proof of Replication is divided in two phases: an offline phase and an online phase.
During the offline (or setup) phase, the prover generates a slow encoding of the data and a proof that the encoding was performed correctly. During the online phase, the prover generates a proof that they are still storing the encoded data.
The speed of replication has both impact on security and scalability.
Why is replication speed important for scalability?
The longer it takes to replicate a fixed unit of storage (say 1GiB), the more computational expensive the computation for the miner.
Why is the replication speed important for security?
The speed of the replication step of PoRep is key to define security in Filecoin. If a malicious prover can replicate much faster than the other nodes, they can attempt generation attacks (generating and replicating data on the spot) and be able to claim more data than they have.
So far, we did our best effort to implement the "fastest" replication algorithm, however there is quite some room of improvement both in software and in hardware.
Software wise, there are several areas still to be improved: better parallelization, and exploiting space/time tradeffs.
We have set up the replication game where you can run your algorithm on your hardware and show up on the leaderboard.