Research Cluster at CREST
Distributed Ledger Technology Research
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Distributed Ledger Research Cluster

Engineering Trustworthy Intelligent Machines.


Over the last decade, the Distributed Ledger technology (DLT), also known as Blockchain, has emerged as a means for a group of rational agents to connect and coordinate with each other to carry out a process without relying on an opaque and centralized intermediary. Distributed Ledgers do not exist in vacuum. Instead, in any usage scenarios that involve DL, they are in constant contact and interaction with other software systems, services, and intelligent machines. Thus, whether DL can make an effective solution depends a great deal on how it is integrated with other systems. Moreover, as DL is a software system itself, the successful utilization of DL also depends on how it is designed and engineered. As any emerging technologies, DLT has its terminologies, characteristics, and constraints that software engineers must carefully consider in order to utilize it effectively.

The goal of the DLT research cluster at CREST is to support industries, governments, and societies in leveraging DLT to address current challenges and prepare for the emerging machine economy. The foundation of my research and practice is evidence-based software engineering research methods, based on inputs from scientific literature, empirical data, and experimentation. Upon this foundation, our research addresses three topic areas.


Models and processes for evaluating and designing DLT systems.


Tools and automation support for the engineering of DLT systems.


DLT systems in practice, particularly use cases at the tactical edge.


Discover exciting projects on different aspects of DLT.

Prototyping Framework


DLT Network Design Space


DLT-IoT Integration


DLT at Edge


DLT for Supply Chain


AI Provenance with DLT


DLT-enabled IoT Testbed


Progress and Roadmap

We are on the way.

  • 2018

    The Beginning

    CREST started investigating DLT.

  • 2019


    DLT Cluster at CREST started a range of literature study and engineering projects on DLT.

  • December 2019

    Field Test

    A Prototype of CREST DLT was deployed in a joint experiment with an governmental collaborator.

  • 2020

    Published research results on architectural aspects of DLT

    CREST DLT published results in the prestigious IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture (ICSA) 2020, the Journal of Network and Computer Applications (JNCA). The cluster also released a technical report on DLT from an architecture perspective.

  • Be Part
    Of Our


Scientific Articles and Technical Reports.

  1. Anatomy, Concept, and Design Space of Blockchain Networks [Xplore]
  2. Integrating Blockchain and Internet of Things Systems: A Systematic Review on Objectives and Designs [Science Direct]
  3. Architectural Perspective to Tactical Blockchain Systems
  4. Distributed Ledger at the Tactical Edge
  5. Architecting a Decentralized Internet of Things Testbed

Our Amazing Team

Researchers and Engineers who make it happen.

Prof. M. Ali Babar

CREST Director

Dr. Nguyen Khoi Tran

Researcher - DLT Lead

Dr. Aufeef Chauhan


Liuyue (William) Jiang

PhD. Student

Yongzheng (Craig) Xie

PhD. Student