A Blockchain Based Crowdsourcing Framework for Last Mile Delivery

  • Soufiane El Moudaa

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

The growth of online shopping platforms poses a major challenge to the logistics industry. Meeting delivery deadlines and minimizing its high cost are some of the issues that existing solutions try to tackle. Last-mile delivery represents an essential part of the supply chain that allows transportation of packages from the warehouse to the customer. Most last-mile delivery services rely on centralized platforms to interface with their clients. These services often undermine the importance of privacy and may lack reliability, and transparency toward the users. Smart contracts implemented on Blockchainbased systems can guarantee verifiable execution and immutability of transactions. The project presented in this thesis proposes a blockchain-based crowdsourcing framework for the last-mile delivery process. It ensures high speed of transactions, low-cost execution, fairness, and transparency in a way that removes the necessity of trust in a 3rd party entity regarding registration, task allocation, and general interactions between the platform's users. The platform uses the Nominated Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism to achieve higher transaction throughput compared to implementations based on Ethereum's Proof-of-Work (PoW). This mechanism has been integrated through the Substrate Framework that allows for building custom blockchain implementations and provides lowcost execution fees. A variant of the single-minded bidder 'F-SMB', an approximation of the optimized off-Chain Vickrey-Clarke-Groves (VCG) mechanism in terms of maximized profit, has been developed as an on-Chain combinatory auction mechanism en abling fairness and transparency in the delivery task assignment process. Results show that F-SMB provides comparable performance to VCG in regards to the task allocation ratio. In addition, F-SMB outperforms VCG in reducing the cost of the delivery operation and execution time.
Date of AwardJul 2022
Original languageAmerican English

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Last-Mile Delivery
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Task allocation.

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