Yi Li bio photo

Yi Li

Associate Professor

College of Computing and Data Science (CCDS)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Address: Block N4-02b-63
50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798
Phone: +65 6790 4287

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LightCross: Sharding with Lightweight Cross-Shard Execution for Smart Contracts

Xiaodong Qi and Yi Li

In Proceedings of the 42nd IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM), 2024

Abstract: Sharding is a prevailing solution to enhance the scalability of current blockchain systems. However, the cross-shard commit protocols adopted in these systems to commit cross-shard transactions commonly incur multi-round shard-to-shard communication, leading to low performance. Furthermore, most solutions only focus on simple transfer transactions without supporting complex smart contracts, preventing sharding from widespread applications. In this paper, we propose LightCross, a novel blockchain sharding system that enables efficient execution of complex cross-shard smart contracts. First, LightCross offloads the execution of cross-shard transactions into off-chain executors equipped with the TEE hardware, which can accommodate execution for arbitrarily complex contracts. Second, we design a lightweight cross-shard commit protocol to commit cross-shard transactions without multi-round shard-to-shard communication between shards. Last, LightCross lowers the cross-shard transaction ratio by dynamically changing the distribution of contracts according to historical transactions. We implemented the LightCross prototype based on the FISCO-BCOS project and evaluated it in real-world blockchain environments, showing that LightCross can achieve 2.6× more throughput than state-of-the-art sharding systems.


  author = {Qi, Xiaodong and Li, Yi},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the 42nd IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM)},
  month = may,
  title = {{LightCross}: Sharding with Lightweight Cross-Shard Execution for Smart Contracts},
  year = {2024}