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Fait Accompli Committee Selection: Improving the Size-Security Tradeoff of Stake-Based Committees
Authors: Peter Gaži, Aggelos Kiayias, Alexander RussellAbstract:
We study the problem of committee selection in the context of proof-of-stake consensus mechanisms or distributed ledgers. These settings determine a family of participating parties—each of which has been assigned a non-negative “stake”—and are subject to an adversary that may corrupt a subset of the parties. The challenge is to select a committee of participants that accurately reflects the proportion of corrupt and honest parties, as measured by stake, in the full population. The trade-off between committee size and the probability of selecting a committee that over-represents the corrupt parties is a fundamental factor in both security and efficiency of proof-of-stake consensus, as well as committee-run layer-two protocols.
We propose and analyze several new committee selection schemes that improve upon existing techniques by adopting low-variance assignment of certain committee members that hold significant stake. These schemes provide notable improvements to the size–security trade-off arising from the stake distributions of many deployed ledgers.
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