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  • 1.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Efficient Design of Decentralized Privacy and Trust in Distributed Digital Marketplaces2023Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to advance the knowledge on the efficient design and evaluation of distributed marketplaces with an emphasis on trust and privacy. Distributed systems are an integral part of today's computing infrastructures, enabling multiple nodes to work towards a common goal. Although distributed, most of today's computational systems are still built with a centralized architecture, which assumes complete governance by a single organization. In the case of centralized marketplaces, the correct trade execution guarantees, \ie digital trust, and data privacy are provided centrally, containing all processes and operations within a single organization's boundaries. This puts the marketplace operator in a prime position to govern trade settlement conditions. However, trust issues are raised if more than one organization has to govern the marketplace. In such a case, trust and privacy are decentralized, and control is distributed among all organizations which are part of the marketplace system. Thus, a decentralized marketplace requires a robust and secure consensus mechanism, which enables digital trust while allowing organizations to process and store private data for further usage in trade settlements. 

    This thesis investigates both centralized and decentralized marketplace architectures applied to use cases of AI artifacts and renewable energy trading. It begins with a study of a marketplace for Artificial Intelligence (AI) artifacts where multiple organizations collaborate on AI pipeline execution. The study defines a Secure Virtual Premise, which enables AI pipeline execution in a centralized marketplace governed by a trusted third party. The thesis continues with a survey of the telecommunication services marketplaces, where both centralized and decentralized architectures are discussed. In addition, the survey provides an in-depth investigation of blockchain technology as a main trust-enabling platform, providing distributed storage and data assurance to all processes in a decentralized marketplace. Having mapped the state-of-the-art, the research shifts towards an in-depth investigation of blockchain-based decentralized renewable energy marketplaces. The main aim of such a marketplace is to incentivize the widespread adoption of renewable energy sources, resulting in the decarbonization of electricity distribution systems. The designed marketplace enables automation and trusted execution of peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trade settlements in decentralized systems while preserving users' data privacy. Furthermore, the marketplace is aligned with the data and P2P energy trade regulations. The studies provide an in-depth requirements definition, system architecture, implementation, and performance evaluation of marketplaces based on two major blockchain platforms. The final study of this thesis provides the improvements towards the renewable energy marketplace model aiming at an enhancement of trust, privacy, and scalability.

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  • 2.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Towards Decentralized Orchestration of Next-generation Cloud Infrastructures2021Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Cloud Computing helps to efficiently utilize the abundance of computing resources in large data centers. It enables interested parties to deploy their services in data centers while the hardware infrastructure is maintained by the cloud provider. Cloud computing is interesting in particular as it enables automation of service deployment and management processes. However, the more complex the service structure becomes, the more complex deployment and management automation of all its parts can become. To this end, the concept of service orchestration is introduced to streamline service deployment and management processes. Orchestration enables the definition and execution of complex automation workflows targeted to provision computing infrastructure, deploy needed service features, and provide management support. In particular, the orchestration process enables the deployment and enforcement of security and compliance mechanisms in the context of systems where sensitive data is being processed. 

    This thesis investigates the orchestration process as a uniform approach to deploy and manage network services and required security and compliance mechanisms. To this end, we investigate different use-cases where the orchestration process is applied to address specific requirements towards security and compliance. This thesis includes two parts. In the first part, we focus on centralized orchestration mechanisms, where all activities are performed from one trusted server. We explore the use-cases of a security testbed and collaborative AI engineering and investigate the advantages and limitations of orchestration mechanisms application in their context. In the second part, we shift towards the investigation of decentralized orchestration mechanisms. We employ blockchain technology as the main decentralization mechanism, exploring the advantages and limitations of its application in the context of digital marketplaces. We demonstrate that the shift towards blockchain-enabled orchestration enables the deployment and management of decentralized security mechanisms, ensuring compliant behavior of digital marketplace actors. 

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  • 3.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Ilie, Dragos
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Robert, Remi
    Ericsson Research, Sweden.
    Kebande, Victor R.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Tutschku, Kurt
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    On the Performance and Scalability of Consensus Mechanisms in Privacy-Enabled Decentralized Renewable Energy Marketplace2023In: Annales des télécommunications, ISSN 0003-4347, E-ISSN 1958-9395Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Renewable energy sources were introduced as an alternative to fossil fuel sources to make electricity generation cleaner. However, today's renewable energy markets face a number of limitations, such as inflexible pricing models and inaccurate consumption information. These limitations can be addressed with a decentralized marketplace architecture. Such architecture requires a mechanism to guarantee that all marketplace operations are executed according to predefined rules and regulations. One of the ways to establish such a mechanism is blockchain technology. This work defines a decentralized blockchain-based peer-to-peer (P2P) energy marketplace which addresses actors' privacy and the performance of consensus mechanisms. The defined marketplace utilizes private permissioned Ethereum-based blockchain client Hyperledger Besu (HB) and its smart contracts to automate the P2P trade settlement process. Also, to make the marketplace compliant with energy trade regulations, it includes the regulator actor, which manages the issue and consumption of guarantees of origin and certifies the renewable energy sources used to generate traded electricity. Finally, the proposed marketplace incorporates privacy-preserving features, allowing it to generate private transactions and store them within a designated group of actors. Performance evaluation results of HB-based marketplace with three main consensus mechanisms for private networks, i.e., Clique, IBFT 2.0, and QBFT, demonstrate a lower throughput than another popular private permissioned blockchain platform Hyperledger Fabric (HF). However, the lower throughput is a side effect of the Byzantine Fault Tolerant characteristics of HB's consensus mechanisms, i.e., IBFT 2.0 and QBFT, which provide increased security compared to HF's Crash Fault Tolerant consensus RAFT.

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  • 4.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Ilie, Dragos
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Robert, Remi
    Ericsson Research, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Kebande, Victor R.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Tutschku, Kurt
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    On the Performance of Consensus Mechanisms in Privacy-Enabled Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Renewable Energy Marketplace2023In: Proceedings of the 26th Conference on Innovation in Clouds, Internet and Networks, ICIN 2023 / [ed] Lopez D., Montpetit M.-J., Cerroni W., Di Mauro M., Borylo P., Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2023, p. 179-186Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This work defines a decentralized blockchain-based peer-to-peer (P2P) energy marketplace which addresses actors' privacy and the performance of consensus mechanisms. The defined marketplace utilizes private permissioned Ethereum-based blockchain client Hyperledger Besu (HB) and its smart contracts to automate the P2P trade settlement process. Also, to make the marketplace compliant with energy trade regulations, it includes the regulator actor, which manages the issue and generation of guarantees of origin and certifies the renewable energy sources used to generate traded electricity. Finally, the proposed marketplace incorporates privacy-preserving features, allowing it to generate private transactions and store them within a designated group of actors. Performance evaluation results of HB-based marketplace with three main consensus mechanisms for private networks, i. e., Clique, IBFT 2.0, and QBFT, demonstrate a lower throughput than another popular private permissioned blockchain platform Hyperledger Fabric (HF). However, the lower throughput is a side effect of the Byzantine Fault Tolerant characteristics of HB's consensus mechanisms, i. e., IBFT 2.0 and QBFT, which provide increased security compared to HF's Crash Fault Tolerant consensus RAFT. © 2023 IEEE.

  • 5.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Ilie, Dragos
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Robert, Remi
    Ericsson Research, Sweden.
    Kebande, Victor R.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Tutschku, Kurt
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Towards Efficient Privacy and Trust in Decentralized Blockchain-Based Peer-to-Peer Renewable Energy Marketplace2023In: Sustainable Energy, Grids and Networks, E-ISSN 2352-4677, Vol. 35, article id 101146Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly important as a substitute for fossil energy production. However, distributed renewable energy production faces several challenges regarding trading and management, such as inflexible pricing models and inaccurate green consumption information. A decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) electricity marketplace may address these challenges. It enables prosumers to market their self-produced electricity. However, such a marketplace needs to guarantee that the transactions follow market rules and government regulations, cannot be manipulated, and are consistent with the generated electricity. One of the ways to provide these guarantees is to leverage blockchain technology.

    This work describes a decentralized blockchain-based P2P energy marketplace addressing privacy, trust, and governance issues. It uses a private permissioned blockchain Hyperledger Fabric (HF) and its smart contracts to perform energy trading settlements. The suggested P2P marketplace includes a particular regulator actor acting as a governmental representative overseeing marketplace operations. In this way, the suggested P2P marketplace can address the governance issues needed in electricity marketplaces. Further, the proposed marketplace ensures actors’ data privacy by employing HF’s private data collections while preserving the integrity and auditability of all operations. We present an in-depth performance evaluation and provide insights into the security and privacy challenges emerging from such a marketplace. The results demonstrate that partial centralization by the applied regulator does not limit the P2P energy trade settlement execution. Blockchain technology allows for automated marketplace operations enabling better incentives for prosumer electricity production. Finally, the suggested marketplace preserves the user’s privacy when P2P energy trade settlements are conducted.

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  • 6.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Ilie, Dragos
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Robert, Remi
    Ericsson Research, Sweden.
    Tutschku, Kurt
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Kebande, Victor R.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    On the Application of Enterprise Blockchains in Decentralized Renewable Energy MarketplacesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The energy distribution infrastructure is a vital part of any modern society. Thus, renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly important as a substitute for energy produced with fossil fuels. However, renewable energy production faces several challenges in the energy market and its management, such as inflexible pricing models and inaccurate green consumption information. A decentralized electricity marketplace may address these challenges. However, such a platform must guarantee that the transactions follow the market rules and regulations, cannot be manipulated, and are consistent with the energy generated. One of the ways to provide these guarantees is to leverage blockchain technology. Our previous studies demonstrate the current energy trade regulations result in partial marketplace centralization around governmental authority. The governmental authority, i.e., the regulator, oversees marketplace operations and requires energy providers to share private data about electricity generation and energy trade settlement. This study proposes amendments to D2018/2001 legislation and the governmental regulator actor to improve marketplace flexibility and data privacy. Further, we propose a new blockchain-based P2P energy marketplace model with increased flexibility and scalability while addressing actors' privacy and trust requirements. The marketplace utilizes a private permissioned blockchain Hyperledger Fabric (HF) due to its privacy-preserving and trust-enabling capabilities. This study provides HF comparison with Ethereum-based competitor Hyperledger Besu (HB). Further, based on the identified advantages and limitations, we discuss the rationale for the choice of HF. We utilize HF's smart contracts to enable P2P energy trade settlement orchestration and management. Based on previous studies, we propose an improvement towards HF security by utilizing a Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus mechanism, which is protected against malicious system actors. The results demonstrate that while protecting the blockchain network from malicious system actors, the BFT mechanism shows a similar throughput to the RAFT Crash Fault Tolerant consensus in the context of the P2P energy marketplace. Finally, BFT consensus enables legislation enhancements, resulting in increased flexibility and data privacy in the energy trade marketplace.

  • 7.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Ilie, Dragos
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Tutschku, Kurt
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Building a Framework for Automated Security Testbeds in Cloud Infrastructures2020In: Proceedings of SNCNW 2020: 16th Swedish National Computer Networking Workshop, SNCNW, Kristianstad, 2020Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When exposed to the network, applications and devices are exposed to constant security risks. This puts pressure on hardware and software vendors to test even more than before how secure applications and devices are before being released to customers.

    We have worked towards defining and developing a frame- work for automated security testbeds. Testbeds comprise both the ability to build on-demand virtual isolated networks that emulate corporate networks, as well as the ability to automate security breach scenarios, which accelerates the testing process. In order to accomplish both features of the testbed, we have based the framework on well-established cloud and orchestration technologies e. g. , OpenStack and Ansible. Although many of these technologies are powerful, they are also complex, leading to a steep learning curve for new users. Thus, one of the main goals of the developed framework is to hide the underlying complexities through a template approach and a simplified user interface that shortens the initial training time.

    In this paper, we present the full stack of technologies that were used for constructing the testbed framework. The framework allows us to create entire virtual networks and to manipulate network devices started in it, via comprehensive yet simple interfaces. Also, we describe a specific testbed solution, developed as a part of the Test Arena Blekinge project.

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    SNCNW_2020
  • 8.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Ilie, Dragos
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Tutschku, Kurt
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Decentralized Blockchain-based Telecommunication Services Marketplaces: Tutorial presentation2021In: IEEE International Conference on Network Softwarization (IEEE NetSoft 2021), 2021Conference paper (Other academic)
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  • 9.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Ilie, Dragos
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Tutschku, Kurt
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Orchestrating Future Service Chains in the Next Generation of Clouds2019In: Proceedings of SNCNW 2019: The 15th Swedish National Computer Networking Workshop, Luleå, 2019, p. 18-22Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Service Chains have developed into an important concept in service provisioning in today’s and future Clouds. Cloud systems, e.g., Amazon Web Services (AWS), permit the implementation and deployment of new applications, services and service chains rapidly and flexibly. They employ the idea of Infrastructure as Code (IaC), which is the process of managing and provisioning computing infrastructure and its configuration through machine-processable definition files.

    In this paper, we first detail future service chains with particular focus on Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and machine learning in AI. Afterwards, we analyze and summarize the capabilities of today’s IaC tools for orchestrating Cloud infrastructures and service chains. We compare the functionality of the major five IaC tools: Puppet, Chef, SaltStack, Ansible, and Terraform. In addition, we demonstrate how to analyze the functional capabilities of one of the tools. Finally, we give an outlook on future research issues on using IaC tools across multiple operators, data center domains, and different stockholders that collaborate on service chains.

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  • 10.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Ilie, Dragos
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Tutschku, Kurt
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Towards a Secure Proxy-based Architecture for Collaborative AI Engineering2020In: CANDAR 2020: International Symposium on Computing and Networking, IEEE, 2020, p. 373-379, article id 9355887Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we investigate how to design a security architecture of a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution, denoted as Secure Virtual Premise (SVP), for collaborative and distributed AI engineering using AI artifacts and Machine Learning (ML) pipelines. Artifacts are re-usable software objects which are a) tradeable in marketplaces, b) implemented by containers, c) offer AI functions as microservices, and, d) can form service chains, denoted as AI pipelines. Collaborative engineering is facilitated by the trading and (re-)using artifacts and, thus, accelerating the AI application design.

    The security architecture of the SVP is built around the security needs of collaborative AI engineering and uses a proxy concept for microservices. The proxy shields the AI artifact and pipelines from outside adversaries as well as from misbehaving users, thus building trust among the collaborating parties. We identify the security needs of collaborative AI engineering, derive the security challenges, outline the SVP’s architecture, and describe its security capabilities and its implementation, which is currently in use with several AI developer communities. Furthermore, we evaluate the SVP’s Technology Readiness Level (TRL) with regard to collaborative AI engineering and data security.

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  • 11.
    Tkachuk, Roman-Valentyn
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Ilie, Dragos
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Tutschku, Kurt
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Robert, Remi
    Ericsson Research, SWE.
    A Survey on Blockchain-based Telecommunication Services Marketplaces2022In: IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management, ISSN 1932-4537, E-ISSN 1932-4537, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 228-255Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Digital marketplaces were created recently to accelerate the delivery of applications and services to customers. Their appealing feature is to activate and dynamize the demand, supply, and development of digital goods, applications, or services. By being an intermediary between producer and consumer, the primary business model for a marketplace is to charge the producer with a commission on the amount paid by the consumer. However, most of the time, the commission is dictated by the marketplace facilitator itself and creates an imbalance in value distribution, where producer and consumer sides suffer monetarily. In order to eliminate the need for a centralized entity between the producer and consumer, a blockchain-based decentralized digital marketplace concept was introduced. It provides marketplace actors with the tools to perform business transactions in a trusted manner and without the need for an intermediary. In this work, we provide a survey on Telecommunication Services Marketplaces (TSMs) which employ blockchain technology as the main trust enabling entity in order to avoid any intermediaries. We provide an overview of scientific and industrial proposals on the blockchain-based online digital marketplaces at large, and TSMs in particular. We consider in this study the notion of telecommunication services as any service enabling the capability for information transfer and, increasingly, information processing provided to a group of users by a telecommunications system. We discuss the main standardization activities around the concepts of TSMs and provide particular use-cases for the TSM business transactions such as SLA settlement. Also, we provide insights into the main foundational services provided by the TSM, as well as a survey of the scientific and industrial proposals for such services. Finally, a prospect for future developments is given. Author

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