This lecture took place on 6 April 2022. 

Decentralized systems have been proven to be quite effective to allow for trusted and accountable data sharing, without the need to resort to a centralized party that collects all the information. While complete decentralization provides important advantages in terms of data sovereignty, absence of bottlenecks, and reliability, it also adds some issues concerned with efficient data lookup and the possibility to implement complex queries without reintroducing centralized components.

Prof Stefano Ferretti and Dr. Mirko Zichichi describe a system that copes with these issues thanks to a multi-layer lookup scheme based on Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs) that allows for multiple keyword-based searches. The service of peer nodes participating in this discovery service is controlled and rewarded for their contribution. Moreover, the governance of this process is completely automated through the use of smart contracts, thus building a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). Finally, Prof. Ferretti and Dr. Zichichi present a use case where road hazards are collected in order to test the system’s geodata retrieval capabilities.

Watch the lecture to learn more about:

  • How centralized systems for connected vehicle data collection take power away from vehicle owners and threaten data privacy
  • The benefits of decentralized data networks
  • How keyword-based lookup and DHTs can enable complex queries in decentralized systems
  • Complex queries for geodata retrieval and potential use cases for smart mobility and smart cities
  • How smart contracts can be leveraged to form DAOs and automate the lookup process
  • A use case where road hazards are collected in order to test the system’s geodata retrieval capabilities

About the Speakers

Stefano Ferretti is an Associate Professor at the Department of Pure and Applied Sciences of the University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”. Before, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Bologna. He received a Laurea degree (summa cum laude) and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Bologna respectively in 2001 and in 2005. His current research interests include distributed systems, complex networks, data science, fintech, and blockchain technologies. Besides his didactic duties at the University of Urbino, he is also a professor at the University of Bologna and the Ph.D. Program in Artificial Intelligence of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. He acted as editor for several international journals such as Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory (SIMPAT) journal (Elsevier), Computer Communications (Elsevier), Online Social Networks and Media (Elsevier), Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience (Wiley).

Mirko Zichichi received a bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) in computer science from the University of Palermo, in 2017, and a master’s degree (summa cum laude) in information science for management from the University of Bologna, in 2019. He joined the Ontology Engineering Group (OEG) at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in 2019. He is a Doctoral Researcher with the Law, Science, and Technology Joint Doctorate—Rights of Internet of Everything, funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. He is an ISO Expert since 2020 in the MPEG Ad-hoc Group on Smart Contracts for Media (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29). His Ph.D. research focuses on the current landscape of personal data management and its relationship to user privacy within the Internet of Persons (IoP), with the main objective of providing the design of distributed ledger-based systems to support the right to protection of personal data while fostering their portability for social good and economic exploitation.