Short Bios

I am currently a research assistant professor at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), working with Prof. Yinqian Zhang. I received my Ph.D. degree from The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Sep. 2021, under the supervision of Prof. Chen Feng.

Our research lab has multiple openings for Research Associates, Post-doctoral Researchers, Research/Software Engineers, Research Assistants, and Research Interns. If you are interested in working with me or have any directions for our lab, please drop me or Prof. Zhang an email for more information.

Research

My research fields include blockchain, distributed systems, and confidential computing. Below are some research projects.

Incentive Analysis (Design) and BFT Consensus Analysis: This project applies stochastic processes to analyze incentive design and consensus algorithms of blockchains. Incentive analysis (design) includes Ethereum (ICDCS’19), Bitcoin-NG (Performance’20) and transparent mining (TDSC’22). Security and performance analysis includes chained HotStuff (INFOCOM’21).

BFT Consensus at Scale: This project aims to search for scalable, simple, and secure BFT consensus designs. Related works include the simplest BFT consensus, EBFT(Arxiv, Homepage), robust chained BFT, Fast-HotStuff (TDSC’23), shared mempool design, Stratus (ICDE’23).

Distributed Confidential Computing: This project explores integrations of confidential computing and various distributed computing techniques, e.g., blockchains and Federated Learning. Related works include confidential blockchains (CCS’22) and rollback-resilient protocols (CCS’22, TDSC’24).

News

  • (2024/03)[Paper] Our work, Narrator-Pro (an extension to Narrator), has been accepted to TDSC.
  • (2024/03)[Service] I am invited to serve on the technical program committee of IEEE GBC’24.
  • (2024/01)[Service] I am invited to serve on the technical program committee of ACM CCS’24.
  • (2023/12)[Paper] Our paper has been accepted to SEED’24. Congrats to Tong Liu and Zhen Huang, and my collaborators!
  • (2023/08)[Paper] Our paper has been accepted to SecureComm’23. Congrats to Hanzheng and Shaokang, and my collaborators!
  • (2023/08)[Paper] Our works, Cumulus and Fast-HotStuff, have been accepted to IoTJ and TDSC, respectively.
  • (2023/02)[Paper] Our work, SodsBC, has been accepted to TDSC.
  • (2022/10)[Paper] Our paper, “Crystal: Enhancing Blockchain Mining Transparency with Quorum Certificate”, has been accepted to TDSC.
  • (2022/08)[Paper] Our work, Narrator, has been accepted to CCS 2022.
  • (2022/08)[Paper] Our paper, “ENGRAFT: Enclave-guarded Raft on Byzantine Faulty Nodes”, has been accepted to CCS 2022.
  • (2022/08)[Paper] Our paper, “Scaling Blockchain Consensus via a Robust Shared Mempool”, has been accepted to ICDE 2023.
  • (2022/04)[Paper] Our paper, “When Power-of-d-Choices Meets Priority”, has been accepted to IWQoS 2022.
  • (2021/12)[Paper] Our paper, “Publish or Perish: Defending Withholding Attack in Dfinity Consensus”, has been selected as the best paper in MSN 2021.

Preprints

  1. Analysis of Nakamoto Consensus, Revisited
    Jianyu Niu, Chen Feng, Hoang Dau, Yu-Chih Huang, Jingge Zhu
    [Paper] [Selected as “Paper of the Week” (Issue #31) by ZK Capital]
  2. EBFT: Simplifying BFT Consensus Through Egalitarianism
    Jianyu Niu, Runchao Han, Shengqi Liu, Fangyu Gai, Ivan Beschastnikh, Yinqian Zhang, Chen Feng
    [One variant used in VeChain] [Paper] [Previous version selected as reading list by Stanford EE374]
  3. An Empirical Study on Ethereum Private Transactions and the Security Implications [Paper]
    Xingyu Lyu, Mengya Zhang, Xiaokuan Zhang, Jianyu Niu, Yinqian Zhang, Zhiqiang Lin
  4. KLOTSKI: Towards Consensus Enabled Collaborative Vehicles in Intelligent Transportation
    Yuanhang Zhou, Shubo Peng, Hanzheng Lyu, Fei Tong, Chengqiang Huang, Jianyu Niu, in submission.

Conference Publications (*corresponding author, _ supervised students)

  1. [ICMC’24] SoK: AI-Powered Security Analysis of Smart Contract
    Shuo Yang, Jianyu Niu, Yinqian Zhang
    International Conference on Meta Computing, Qingdao, China, Jun. 2024.
  2. [FORTE’24] Formally Verifying a Rollback-Prevention Protocol for TEEs
    Weili Wang, Jianyu Niu, Michael K. Reiter, Yinqian Zhang
    International Conference on Formal Techniques for Distributed Objects, Components, and Systems.
  3. [SEED’24] SoK: Opportunities for Accelerating Multi-Party Computation via Trusted Hardware
    Tong Liu, Zhen Huang, Jiaao Li, Jianyu Niu, Guoxing Chen, Yinqian Zhang
    International Symposium on Secure and Private Execution Environment Design.
  4. [SecureComm’23] Byzantine Protocols with Asymptotically Optimal Communication Complexity
    Hanzheng Lyu, Shaokang Xie, Jianyu Niu, Chen Feng
    EAI International Conference on Security and Privacy in Communication Networks.
  5. [ICDE’23] Scaling Blockchain Consensus via a Robust Shared Mempool
    Fangyu Gai, Jianyu Niu*, Ivan Beschastnikh, Chen Feng, Sheng Wang
    IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering.
  6. [CCS’22] Narrator: Secure and Practical State Continuity for Trusted Execution in the Cloud
    Jianyu Niu, Wei Peng, Xiaokuan Zhang, Yinqian Zhang
    ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security.
  7. [CCS’22] ENGRAFT: Enclave-guarded Raft on Byzantine Faulty Nodes
    Weili Wang, Sen Deng, Jianyu Niu, Michael K. Reiter, Yinqian Zhang
    ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security.
  8. [IWQoS’22] When Power-of-d-Choices Meets Priority
    Jianyu Niu, Chunpu Wang, Hong Xu, Chen Feng
    IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Quality of Service, Virtual, Jun. 2022.
  9. [MSN’21] Publish or Perish: Defending Withholding Attack in Dfinity Consensus (Best Paper Award)
    Hanzheng Lyu, Jianyu Niu, Fangyu Gai, Chen Feng
    IEEE International Conference on Mobility, Sensing and Networking, Virtual, Dec. 2021.
  10. [ICDCS’21] Dissecting the Performance of Chained-BFT
    Fangyu Gai, Ali Farahbakhsh, Jianyu Niu, Chen Feng, Ivan Beschastnikh, Hao Duan
    IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, Virtual, Jul. 2021.
  11. [INFOCOM’21] On the Performance of Pipelined HotStuff [Blogs]
    Jianyu Niu, Fangyu Gai, Mohammad Mussadiq Jalalzai, Chen Feng
    IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications, Virtual, May. 2021.
  12. [Performance’20] Incentive Analysis of Bitcoin-NG, Revisited
    Jianyu Niu, Ziyu Wang, Fangyu Gai, Chen Feng
    International Symposium on Computer Performance, Modeling, Measurements and Evaluation, Virtual, Nov. 2020.
  13. [ICDCS’19] Selfish Mining in Ethereum
    Jianyu Niu, Chen Feng
    IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, Dallas, Texas, Jun. 2019.

Journal Publications

  1. [TDSC] Ensuring State Continuity for Confidential Computing: A Blockchain-based Approach
    Wei Peng, Xiang Li, Jianyu Niu*, Xiaokuan Zhang, Yinqian Zhang
    IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, 2024.
  2. [TDSC] A Privacy-Preserving Incentive Mechanism for Mobile Crowdsensing based on Blockchain
    Fei Tong, Yuanhang Zhou, Kaiming Wang, Guang Cheng, Jianyu Niu, Shibo He
    IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, 2024.
  3. [TDSC] Fast-Hotstuff: A Fast and Resilient Hotstuff Protocol
    Mohammad Jalalzai, Jianyu Niu, Chen Feng, Fangyu Gai
    [Paper] [Selected as reading list by Stanford EE374] [Used in Deso and Zilliqa 2.0]
    IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, 2023.
  4. [IoTJ] A Secure Sidechain for Decentralized Trading in Internet of Things
    Fangyu Gai , Jianyu Niu*, Mohammad M. Jalalzai , Seyed Ali Tabatabaee, Chen Feng
    IEEE Internet of Things Journal, 2023.
  5. [TDSC] SodsBC: A Practical Post-quantum by Design Asynchronous Blockchain Framework
    Shlomi Dolev, Bingyong Guo, Jianyu Niu, Ziyu Wang (Alphabetically ordered)
    IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, 2023.
  6. [TDSC] Crystal: Enhancing Blockchain Mining Transparency with Quorum Certificate
    Jianyu Niu, Fangyu Gai, Runchao Han, Ren Zhang, Yinqian Zhang, Chen Feng
    IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, 2022.
  7. [TDSC] The Hermes BFT for Blockchains
    Mohammad Jalalzai, Chen Feng, Costas Busch, Golden, Richard III, Jianyu Niu
    IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, 2021.
  8. [PEVA] Incentive Analysis of Bitcoin-NG, Revisited
    Jianyu Niu, Ziyu Wang, Fangyu Gai, Chen Feng
    Elsevier journal Performance EvaluationFast tracked from Performance’20), 2020.

Mentoring Students

Ph.D. Students:

  • Hanzheng Lyu (2021.9-, UBCO, co-advised with Prof. Chen Feng)
  • Xiaoqing Wen (2022.11-, UBCO, co-advised with Prof. Chen Feng)

Master Students:

  • Yining Tang (2022.11-, SUSTech, co-advised with Prof. Yinqian Zhang)

Research Assistants & Interns:

  • Yinan Mi (2023.9-)
  • Hongyan Sun (2024.4-2024.6)

Undergraduate Students (Thesis):

  • Shaokang Xie (2022.6-2024.6, next position: PhD student at UC Davis)
  • Quanbi Feng (2022.9-2024.6, next position: Master student at SUSTech)
  • Shuobo Peng (2022.9-2024.6, next position: Master student at SUSTech)
  • Shengqi Liu (2023.1-2024.6, next position: Master student at UIUC)
  • Hang Huang (2023.3-2024.6, next position: Huawei 2012 Lab)

Visting Students:

  • Yuanhang Zhou (2023.6-2023.10, Master student at SEU, next position: PhD student at UW)
  • Shuo Yang (2023.10-2024.8, Master student at CUHK, next position: PhD student at CityU)

Professional Activities

Program Committee Member

  • IEEE Global Blockchain Conference (GBC) 2024
  • ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) 2024
  • International Conference on Mobility, Sensing and Networking (MSN) 2021

Journal Reviewer

  • IEEE Communications Letters (CL), Exemplary Reviewers (2019), 2019.
  • IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing (TDSC), 2024.
  • IEEE Transactions on Computer (TOC), 2023.
  • IEEE Network, 2023.
  • IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024.
  • Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security (AsiaCCS), 2024.

Last updated: 2024/01.