How To Calculate Block Time Buffer

Background

The SEBAK should have an average block confirmation time of 5 seconds (configurable). Because the BOScoin blockchain has to issue a certain amount of coins periodically according to the white paper, such as the Bitcoin blockchain, and the criterion is block height. Therefore, if the average time for confirming a block is not constant, then various problems arise because the coins are not issued constantly.

Solution

To make the average block time be constant, the node sets an interval of block time buffer after consensus and then the block is confirmed and saved.

Block Time Buffer

There are two purpose of block time buffer. One is to make the block time be constant as described above, and the other is to put a interval to gather transactions before suggesting the next block. I will briefly explain how block time buffer is calculated, for example. Assume that the system needs to have a block confirm time of 5 seconds. If the average block generation time is longer than 5 seconds, the node should decrease this block generation time by making this variable as small as possible. If it is shorter than 5 seconds, the node should increase it.

In detail

If you do not want to know the details, you can skip the following information.

func calculateBlockTimeBuffer(goal, average, untilNow, delta) Duration {
  epsilon = 20 microseconds
  if average >= goal {
    if average-goal < epsilon {
      result = goal - untilNow
    } else {
      result = goal - delta - untilNow
    }
  } else {
    if goal-average < epsilon {
      result = goal - untilNow
    } else {
      result = goal + delta - untilNow
    }
  }
  if result < 0 {
    result = 0
  }
  return result
  }
  • goal: the goal of block generation time.
  • average: the average of block generation time until now.
  • untilNow: the time from proposed to agreement of this block.
  • delta: the variable to prevent changes sharply of block creation time.
  • epsilon: a range that doesn’t control the block time(20 microseconds).

For example,

  • goal: 5 sec, average: 7 sec, untilNow: 3 sec, delta: 1 sec
    1. BlockTimeBuffer = 5 - 1 - 3 = 1
    2. In other words, since the average(7) is longer than the goal(5), the node should reduce this block time to 4 seconds(untilNow(3) + BlockTimeBuffer(1))
  • goal: 5 sec, average: 3 sec, untilNow: 4 sec, delta: 1 sec
    1. BlockTimeBuffer = 5 + 1 - 4 = 2
    2. In other words, since the average(3) is shorter than the goal(5), the node should increase this block time to 6 seconds(untilNow(4) + BlockTimeBuffer(2)).
  • goal: 5 sec, average: 3 sec, untilNow: 7 sec, delta: 1 sec
    1. BlockTimeBuffer = 5 + 1 - 7 = -1 -> 0
    2. In other words, since the average(3) is shorter than the goal(5), it is necessary to increase the time taken for consensus. But untilNow(7) has already exceeded the block generation time allowance range(6 = goal + delta), the BlockTimeBuffer becomes 0.
  • goal: 5 sec, average: 5.000010 sec, untilNow: 4 sec, delta: 1 sec
    1. BlockTimeBuffer = 5 - 4 = 1
    2. In other words, since the average(5.000010) is in range of epsilon, the node should maintain this block time to 5

      How To Calculate Block Time Buffer

Background

The SEBAK should have an average block confirmation time of 5 seconds (configurable). Because the BOScoin blockchain has to issue a certain amount of coins periodically according to the white paper, such as the Bitcoin blockchain, and the criterion is block height. Therefore, if the average time for confirming a block is not constant, then various problems arise because the coins are not issued constantly.

Solution

To make the average block time be constant, the node sets an interval of block time buffer after consensus and then the block is confirmed and saved.

Block Time Buffer

There are two purpose of block time buffer. One is to make the block time be constant as described above, and the other is to put a interval to gather transactions before suggesting the next block. I will briefly explain how block time buffer is calculated, for example. Assume that the system needs to have a block confirm time of 5 seconds. If the average block generation time is longer than 5 seconds, the node should decrease this block generation time by making this variable as small as possible. If it is shorter than 5 seconds, the node should increase it.

In detail

If you do not want to know the details, you can skip the following information.

func calculateBlockTimeBuffer(goal, average, untilNow, delta) Duration {
  epsilon = 20 microseconds
  if average >= goal {
    if average-goal < epsilon {
      result = goal - untilNow
    } else {
      result = goal - delta - untilNow
    }
  } else {
    if goal-average < epsilon {
      result = goal - untilNow
    } else {
      result = goal + delta - untilNow
    }
  }
  if result < 0 {
    result = 0
  }
  return result
  }
  • goal: the goal of block generation time.
  • average: the average of block generation time until now.
  • untilNow: the time from proposed to agreement of this block.
  • delta: the variable to prevent changes sharply of block creation time.
  • epsilon: a range that doesn’t control the block time(20 microseconds).

For example,

  • goal: 5 sec, average: 7 sec, untilNow: 3 sec, delta: 1 sec
    1. BlockTimeBuffer = 5 - 1 - 3 = 1
    2. In other words, since the average(7) is longer than the goal(5), the node should reduce this block time to 4 seconds(untilNow(3) + BlockTimeBuffer(1))
  • goal: 5 sec, average: 3 sec, untilNow: 4 sec, delta: 1 sec
    1. BlockTimeBuffer = 5 + 1 - 4 = 2
    2. In other words, since the average(3) is shorter than the goal(5), the node should increase this block time to 6 seconds(untilNow(4) + BlockTimeBuffer(2)).
  • goal: 5 sec, average: 3 sec, untilNow: 7 sec, delta: 1 sec
    1. BlockTimeBuffer = 5 + 1 - 7 = -1 -> 0
    2. In other words, since the average(3) is shorter than the goal(5), it is necessary to increase the time taken for consensus. But untilNow(7) has already exceeded the block generation time allowance range(6 = goal + delta), the BlockTimeBuffer becomes 0.
  • goal: 5 sec, average: 5.000010 sec, untilNow: 4 sec, delta: 1 sec
    1. BlockTimeBuffer = 5 - 4 = 1
    2. In other words, since the average(5.000010) is in range of epsilon, the node should maintain this block time to 5