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Quantitative Evaluation of Systems, International Conference on (2011)
Aachen, Germany
Sept. 5, 2011 to Sept. 8, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7695-4491-5
pp: 255-264
Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) protocols aim to improve the reliability of distributed systems. They enable systems to tolerate arbitrary failures in a bounded number of nodes. BFT protocols are usually proven correct for certain safety and liveness properties. However, recent studies have shown that the performance of state-of-the-art BFT protocols decreases drastically in the presence of even a single malicious node. This motivates a formal quantitative analysis of BFT protocols to investigate their performance characteristics under different scenarios. We present HyPerf, a new hybrid methodology based on model checking and simulation techniques for evaluating the performance of BFT protocols. We build a transition system corresponding to a BFT protocol and systematically explore the set of behaviors allowed by the protocol. We associate certain timing information with different operations in the protocol, like cryptographic operations and message transmission. After an elaborate state exploration, we use the time information to evaluate the performance characteristics of the protocol using simulation techniques. We integrate our framework in Mace, a tool for building and verifying distributed systems. We evaluate the performance of PBFT using our framework. We describe two different use-cases of our methodology. For the benign operation of the protocol, we use the time information as random variables to compute the probability distribution of the execution times. In the presence of faults, we estimate the worst-case performance of the protocol for various attacks that can be employed by malicious nodes. Our results show the importance of hybrid techniques in systematically analyzing the performance of large-scale systems.
BFT protocols, performance evaluation, model checking

T. A. Henzinger, V. Singh and R. Halalai, "Quantitative Evaluation of BFT Protocols," Quantitative Evaluation of Systems, International Conference on(QEST), Aachen, Germany, 2011, pp. 255-264.
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