Blockchain is the next generation of secure data management that creates near-immutable decentralized storage. Secure cryptography created a niche for blockchain to provide alternatives to well-known security compromises. However, design bottlenecks with traditional blockchain data structures scale poorly with increased network usage and are extremely computation-intensive. This made the technology difficult to combine with limited devices, like those in Internet of Things networks. In protocols like IOTA, replacement of blockchain's linked-list queue processing with a lightweight dynamic ledger showed remarkable throughput performance increase. However, current stochastic algorithms for ledger construction suffer distinct trade-offs between efficiency and security. This work proposed a machine-learning approach with a multi-arm bandit that resolved these issues and was designed for auditing on limited devices. This algorithm was tested in a reinforcement-learning environment simulating the IOTA ledger's construction with a decision tree. This study showed through regret analysis and experimentation that this approach was secure against impulse manipulation attacks while remaining energy-efficient. Although the IOTA protocol was a pioneer for lightweight distributed ledgers, it is expected that future blockchain protocols will adopt techniques similar to those presented in this work.


Electrical and Computer Engineering


This work was supported in part by the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) National Fellowship Program; and in part by the Department of Energy's Kansas City National Security Campus, operated by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing and Technologies, LLC, under Contract DE-NA0002839.

Keywords and Phrases

Blockchain Security; Blockchains; Distributed ledger; Distributed Ledger Technology; Internet of Things; Internet of Things; Machine Learning; Machine learning; Multi-arm Bandit; Performance evaluation; Protocols; Regret Analysis; Security

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Article - Journal

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Final Version

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© 2022 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

26 Jan 2022