Effectiveness and Limitation of Blockchain in Distributed Optimization: Applications to Energy Management Systems


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E104-A   No.2   pp.423-429
Publication Date: 2021/02/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1587/transfun.2020MAI0001
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Mathematical Systems Science and its Applications)
ADMM,  blockchains,  distributed optimization,  EMS,  

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A blockchain, which is well known as one of the distributed ledgers, has attracted in many research fields. In this paper, we discuss the effectiveness and limitation of a blockchain in distributed optimization. In distributed optimization, the original problem is decomposed, and the local problems are solved by multiple agents. In this paper, ADMM (Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers) is utilized as one of the powerful methods in distributed optimization. In ADMM, an aggregator is basically required for collecting the computation result in each agent. Using blockchains, the function of an aggregator can be contained in a distributed ledger, and an aggregator may not be required. As a result, tampering from attackers can be prevented. As an application, we consider energy management systems (EMSs). By numerical experiments, the effectiveness and limitation of blockchain-based distributed optimization are clarified.