Creating this thread to batch my own RPGF nominations for various contributions in the research literature which I’ve found helpful to my own and/or Heliax’s thinking about Namada, Anoma, cryptography, distributed systems, mechanism design, cryptoeconomic design & analysis, and how the systems we build interact with the world.
This thread is for papers or other long-form written content only, I want to nominate primarily the “combined work” (so any potential funds should be split equally among the paper’s authors, which I will list in each reply). I also group papers which share several common authors.
Papers: Cordial Miners, Grassroots Distributed Systems, Sovereign Cryptocurrencies
Author: Ehud Shapiro
Rationale: The “blocklace” DAG abstraction shares some commonalities with Isaac Sheff’s Charlotte, and with Typhon’s physical / logical DAG separation (planned as a future upgrade for Namada), while Ehud’s work on grassroots bootstrapping / local-first distributed systems and currencies forming interoperable networks clearly shares both similar philosophical aims and some common methods with Anoma’s longer-term scale-free credit / kudos project.
Paper: The Problem of Scale in Anarchism and the Case for Cybernetic Communism
Author: Aurora Apolito
Rationale: Aurora’s paper is one of the very few I’ve seen which seriously tackle the mathematical requirements of large-scale social coordination systems, and the general failure of alternative movements to propose a credible alternative which can scale beyond mostly below-Dunbar threasholds. While I am not sold on her proposed measures of complexity as targets for an optimisation function, I think this framework could provide a solid tests for alternative economic systems - which should avoid optimising for a different metric, at the very least, and should be able to optimise for this one if the agents involved decide to.
Papers: Bayesian Open Games, Towards Foundations of Categorical Cybernetics, From open learners to open games
Authors: Joe Bolt, Jules Hedges, Philipp Zahn, Matteo Capucci, Bruno Gavranović, Eigil Fjeldgren Rischel
Rationale: This body of papers lays the groundwork for a categorical analysis of cybernetic systems, which is the most promising approach I am aware of for formalising some of the properties which credible alternative economic systems aiming to provide privacy and autonomy will need to provide, and how to model the behaviours of agents in such systems.
Papers: Narwhal and Tusk, Bullshark
Authors: George Danezis, Eleftherios Kokoris Kogias, Alberto Sonnino, Alexander Spiegelman, Neil Giridharan, Lefteris Kokoris-Kogias
Rationale: Narwhal & Tusk and Bullshark are the most recent practical protocols proposed in the area of DAG-based BFT consensus, which separate out generation and consumption of partial ordering information in a manner which we are working on adapting to a heterogeneous setting with Typhon for both the mempool and consensus algorithms.
Paper: Barter Exchange via Friends’ Friends
Authors: Yue Zheng, Tianyi Yang, Wen Zhang, Dengji Zhao
Rationale: The four authors of this paper craft a clear game theoretic model for open multi-agent bartering networks and analyze incentive compatibility of agents revealing their true preferences, a model which should apply (with some slight adjustments) to many cases of bartering using digital systems.
Paper: The Cost of Sybils, Credible Commitments, and False-Name Proof Mechanisms
Authors: Bruno Mazorra, Nicolás Della Penna
Rationale: Sybil resistance is the principal difficulty in the design of permissionless systems, particularly ones which aim to preserve some notion of fairness and/or social welfare, but it often escapes pragmatic definition and is taken for granted by some literatures but avoided at all costs in others. Bruno and Nicolas offer a clear characterization parameterized over the cost of creating a Sybil identity (which can range from 0 to infinity), uniting two previously disparate literatures, and prove some bounds for efficiency of fully Sybil-proof mechanisms.