Though blockchain and crypto-currencies have been receiving growing media attention, such as due to their financial applications and performance respectively, their mathematical foundations may be underappreciated. Open Access is not only integral to these technologies, but can also contribute to their development, such as via cutting-edge research published in Open Access mathematics journals.
A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.
While the blockchain revolution unfurls in many locations around the world, such as Portugal, its underlying technological infrastructure, e.g., blockchains, is accessible to all and relies on mathematical formulas and complex algorithms, such as in the field of cryptography, for its self-regulation. More specifically, latest blockchain-based technologies, such as smart contracts, integrate elements of artificial intelligence into their networks, in order to automate decision-making across a wide variety of fields amenable to the implementation of blockchain solutions, such as logistics, finance and transportation. Moreover, blockchains generate their tokens based on the computationally demanding solutions to mathematical problems using blockchain-specific algorithms and parameters.
As Soler-Dominguez et al. argue in their paper published in April 2017, metaheuristics, as an area of mathematics, can assist in the development of algorithmic solutions for optimization problems in the domains of banking and finance, such as for the purposes of credit risk assessment, financial portfolio optimization and stock exchange investment. Metaheuristics-based algorithms can also be expected to be helpful for optimization tasks in the real-life conditions of uncertainty. Likewise, early research on bitcoin has indicated the usefulness of metaheuristics for the efficient handling of blockchain networks, as the contribution of Peter Taylor to a 2014 scientific report on metaheuristics and exact methods in the domain of combinatorial optimization suggests.
Moreover, metaheuristics can be used in cryptography applications in dynamic and hybrid operational environments, due to their capability to optimize underlying algorithms and digital systems. Likewise, metaheuristics can assist with securing smart contracts and their blockchain-based applications, such as those that the Ethereum platform enables. This also applies to the Internet of Things as an emergent paradigm in industrial manufacturing that seeks to utilize automation, digital technologies and autonomous sensing environments in a variety of domains.
In this respect, Open Mathematics has been publishing in Open Access several special issues on metaheuristics as an emergent area of scientific research with likely industrial applications, theoretical relevance for related algorithmic developments and yet unsolved research challenges. Additionally, as publications in this area indicate, metaheuristics is likely to contribute to the development of artificial intelligence algorithms, combinatorial optimization tasks and machine learning applications.
Thus, as the scope of blockchain applications will expand, it can be expected that articles published in Open Access journals and repositories will contribute to the furthering of scientific research behind crypto-token technologies.
By Pablo Markin
Featured Image Credits: Heuristic Algorithmic, August 4, 2013 | © Courtesy of Christopher Brown.
This article has originally appeared in OpenScience, 31/01/2018, http://openscience.com/open-access-journals-can-further-mathematical-research-behind-blockchain-and-cryptocurrency-revolutions/.