Towards Formal Verification of HotStuff-based Byzantine Fault Tolerant Consensus in Agda

Towards Formal Verification of HotStuff-based Byzantine Fault Tolerant Consensus in Agda

Mark Moir

27 May 2022

LibraBFT is a Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus protocol based on HotStuff. We present an abstract model of the pro- tocol underlying HotStuff / LibraBFT, and formal, machine-checked proofs of their core correctness (safety) property and an extended condition that enables non-participating parties to verify committed results. (Liveness properties would be proved for specific implementations, not for the abstract model presented in this paper.) A key contribution is precisely defining assumptions about the behavior of honest peers, in an abstract way, independent of any particular implementation. Therefore, our work is an important step towards proving correctness of an entire class of concrete implementations, without repeating the hard work of proving correctness of the underlying protocol. The abstract proofs are for a single configuration (epoch); extending these proofs across configuration changes is future work. Our models and proofs are expressed in Agda, and are available in open source.


Venue : NASA Formal Methods (NFM 2022)