Samvaad Talk
Aug 26, 2019

The next Samvaad will be scheduled on August 26, 2019.

Speaker: Prof. Ashish Choudhury, IIIT Bangalore

Talk Title: Fault-tolerant Distributed Consensus: The Holy Grail Problem of Distributed Computing

Abstract: Fault-tolerant distributed consensus (a.k.a Byzantine agreement) is a fundamental problem in distributed computing. The problem has been rigorously studied, both by the distributed computing as well as the cryptography community over the past 4 decades, leading to several Dijkstra's prize (2001, 2005, 2007, 2015, 2017) and two Turing awards (2008, 2013). The problem has grabbed attention recently from different communities, with the enormous success of the blockchain technology.

The talk will have two parts. The first part will give a very basic introduction to the problem and discuss some of the fundamental results in this area. The second part of the talk will discuss some of the works that I have done in this problem domain over the last several years. The talk will very general and non-technical and will assume no background/specialization (specially cryptography) from the audience. Anyone who have a basic understanding of algorithms will be able to understand most of the talk.

The talk will be based on the following works of mine: Simple and Efficient Asynchronous Byzantine Agreement with Optimal Resilience (with Arpita Patra and C. Pandu Rangan), PODC 2009: 92-101. Brief announcement: Efficient Optimally Resilient Statistical AVSS and its Applications (with Arpita Patra), PODC 2012: 103-104.

Asynchronous Byzantine Agreement with Optimal Resilience (with Arpita Patra and C. Pandu Rangan). Distributed Computing 27(2): 111-146, 2014. Efficient Asynchronous Verifiable Secret Sharing and Multiparty Computation (with Arpita Patra and C. Pandu Rangan). Journal of Cryptology 28(1): 49-109 (2015). Almost-Surely Terminating Asynchronous Byzantine Agreement Revisited (with Laasya Bangalore and Arpita Patra), PODC 2018: 295-304.

Speaker Biography: Dr. Ashish Choudhury is an assistant professor at IIIT Bangalore, where he previously held the Infosys foundation chair professor position. He did his master's and Ph.D. from IIT Madras and postdocs from ISI Kolkata and University of Bristol. His current research interests include privacy-preserving ML and efficient consensus protocols.