Blockchain is an emerging technology that comprises a set of nodes without a preexisting trust relationship and connected through a peer-to-peer topology. Transactions added onto the blockchain can not be altered, which makes blockchain an ideal solution for assets transactions and identity management, to mention a few examples. Each node hosts identical copies of a blockchain creating a decentralized and redundant structure. However, for such a structure to be useful, there must exist mechanisms by which the nodes can mutually reach a consensus on the next valid block in the chain to be added. The consensus mechanisms are protocols that make sure all nodes (devices that maintain the blockchain and, sometimes, process transactions) are synchronized with each other and agree on which transactions are legitimate and are added to the blockchain. Blockchain is also an append-only distributed ledger technology, which provides it a property of immutability. In addition to decentralization, consensus, and immutability, a blockchain network has two additional key characteristics: Provenance and finality. Provenance refers to the awareness that participants of the network have about where the asset was originated from and its ownership history, while finality refers to the status of a transaction as complete.
While the focus of blockchain applications in practice has been to build distributed ledgers involving virtual tokens (e.g., crypto-currencies), this technology has recently gained increased attention in several other fields. The impetus has now indeed been extended to other sectors (e.g. healthcare, education, identity management, media, and others). The five blockchain essential characteristics enable new forms of distributed software architectures, where agreement on shared states can be established without trusting a central integration point. Moreover, architectural strategies and solutions to encompass blockchain in commercial software applications start to be needed given emerging requirements of security, reliability, and other important quality attributes.
The purpose of the BlockArch workshop is to foster discussions on the possible synergies between blockchain technology and software architecture and how both topics can be related to providing software solutions that rely on blockchain advantages. We expect papers reporting results related (but not limited) to the following topics:
– Design concepts and techniques for creating blockchain-based architectures for software systems.
– Architectural patterns or tactics to satisfy blockchain qualities; namely, decentralization, consensus, immutability finality, and provenance.
– Emerging quality attributes and tactics when Blockchain is used as a platform for more focused domain-related applications (e.g. healthcare, education, retail, etc.).
– New challenges, research problems, emerging trends, and industrial case studies for designing robust, secure, and scalable blockchain systems.
We solicit submissions in the following categories:
– Position Papers (2 – 4 pages): Position statements focused on challenges, emerging trends, and research problems
– Full-Length Papers (6 – 8 pages): Original research, empirical study, or systematic literature review
– Industry and Experience papers (6 – 8 pages): Industrial experience and case studies
Original submissions, not under review elsewhere at the time of submission, will be reviewed by three members of the program committee. Paper submission should comply with the IEEE proceedings format. The accepted papers will be published as part of the ICSA 2021 Companion proceedings, and appear in IEEE Xplore Digital Library. Each submission will be reviewed for the aspects related to the statement of the problem, the significance of the research, related work/literature review, methodology, quality of data or findings, results and conclusion, readability, and writing style. Accepted submissions will be presented as short talks or posters at the workshop.
Submissions will be managed through Easychair. Papers can be submitted using the following link:
Abstract submission: January 15th, 2021 (firm)
Paper submission: January 20th, 2021 (firm)
Paper notification: February 1st, 2021
Camera-ready due: February 10th, 2021