For an overview of my research, please see Wikipedia.

For an overview of my biology lab, please see the lab page

For the last several years, the focus of my research, together with my group at Weizmann and with colleagues around the world,  was on the computation foundations of digital democracy.  The results of the research were published in various venues and are collectively available on the arXiv.

Our research on digital democracy began by seeking guidance from the 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.

Our conclusion from its analysis was that the prime value that democracy should serve, whether earthly or digital, is equality. Thus our research focused on equality in digital governance. We developed methods for resilience to fake and duplicate digital identities in voting and in community formation; and for equality in constitution formation, proposing rules and amendments, deliberation and coalition formation, and even in the decision to fork a digital community.

Exploring computational platforms to realize our results, we realized that the current digital realm presently offers two main architectures: Autocratic (one person – all votes) server/cloud-based systems, and plutocratic (one coin – one vote) blockchain/cryptocurrencies-based systems. We felt that implementing democracy so that it depends on an autocracy or a plutocracy is a self-defeating proposition. Hence we began research on an alternative architecture to support digital democracy. Our results include the formation of the novel notion of grassroots distributed systems, and its application to grassroots social networks and grassroots cryptocurrencies. These applications, as well as efficient payment system and consensus protocol, all employ two novel concepts: The blocklace and cordial dissemination.  The blocklace is a distributed, partially-ordered counterpart of the replicated, totally-ordered blockchain data structure.
Cordial dissemination is a principle: Tell your friends things you know and believe they need.  The two concepts are intertwined as a block in a blocklace can disclose what a person knows and thus allow friends to cordially disseminate what the person needs.

The resulting proposed architecture is depicted here:

with the following links to figure references:  [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6] .
[Reference [5] presents a blocklace-based permissioned consensus protocol. Its extension to a grassroots consensus protocol is in the works.]

Our current research focuses on completing and solidifying the architecture, its building blocks, and potential applications conceptually and mathematically, as well as on exploring its implementation.


For an overview of my biology lab, please see the lab page.