ParaInherent

This module is responsible for providing all data given to the runtime by the block author to the various parachains modules. The entry-point is mandatory, in that it must be invoked exactly once within every block, and it is also "inherent", in that it is provided with no origin by the block author. The data within it carries its own authentication; i.e. the data takes the form of signed statements by validators. Invalid data will be filtered and not applied.

This module does not have the same initialization/finalization concerns as the others, as it only requires that entry points be triggered after all modules have initialized and that finalization happens after entry points are triggered. Both of these are assumptions we have already made about the runtime's order of operations, so this module doesn't need to be initialized or finalized by the Initializer.

There are a couple of important notes to the operations in this inherent as they relate to disputes.

  1. We don't accept bitfields or backed candidates if in "governance-only" mode from having a local dispute conclude on this fork.
  2. When disputes are initiated, we remove the block from pending availability. This allows us to roll back chains to the block before blocks are included as opposed to backing. It's important to do this before processing bitfields.
  3. Inclusion::collect_disputed is kind of expensive so it's important to gate this on whether there are actually any new disputes. Which should be never.
  4. And we don't accept parablocks that have open disputes or disputes that have concluded against the candidate. It's important to import dispute statements before backing, but this is already the case as disputes are imported before processing bitfields.

Storage

#![allow(unused)]
fn main() {
/// Whether the para inherent was included or not.
Included: Option<()>,
}
#![allow(unused)]
fn main() {
/// Scraped on chain votes to be used in disputes off-chain.
OnChainVotes: Option<ScrapedOnChainVotes>,
}

Finalization

  1. Take (get and clear) the value of Included. If it is not Some, throw an unrecoverable error.

Entry Points

  • enter: This entry-point accepts one parameter: ParaInherentData.
  • create_inherent: This entry-point accepts one parameter: InherentData.

Both entry points share mostly the same code. create_inherent will meaningfully limit inherent data to adhere to the weight limit, in addition to sanitizing any inputs and filtering out invalid data. Conceptually it is part of the block production. The enter call on the other hand is part of block import and consumes/imports the data previously produced by create_inherent.

In practice both calls process inherent data and apply it to the state. Block production and block import should arrive at the same new state. Hence we re-use the same logic to ensure this is the case.

The only real difference between the two is, that on create_inherent we actually need the processed and filtered inherent data to build the block, while on enter the processed data should for one be identical to the incoming inherent data (assuming honest block producers) and second it is irrelevant, as we are not building a block but just processing it, so the processed inherent data is simply dropped.

This also means that the enter function keeps data around for no good reason. This seems acceptable though as the size of a block is rather limited. Nevertheless if we ever wanted to optimize this we can easily implement an inherent collector that has two implementations, where one clones and stores the data and the other just passes it on.

Sanitization

ParasInherent with the entry point of create_inherent sanitizes the input data, while the enter entry point enforces already sanitized input data. If unsanitized data is provided the module generates an error.

Disputes are included in the block with a priority for a security reasons. It's important to include as many dispute votes onchain as possible so that disputes conclude faster and the offenders are punished. However if there are too many disputes to include in a block the dispute set is trimmed so that it respects max block weight.

Dispute data is first deduplicated and sorted by block number (older first) and dispute location (local then remote). Concluded and ancient (disputes initiated before the post conclusion acceptance period) disputes are filtered out. Votes with invalid signatures or from unknown validators (not found in the active set for the current session) are also filtered out.

All dispute statements are included in the order described in the previous paragraph until the available block weight is exhausted. After the dispute data is included all remaining weight is filled in with candidates and availability bitfields. Bitfields are included with priority, then candidates containing code updates and finally any backed candidates. If there is not enough weight for all backed candidates they are trimmed by random selection. Disputes are processed in three separate functions - deduplicate_and_sort_dispute_data, filter_dispute_data and limit_and_sanitize_disputes.

Availability bitfields are also sanitized by dropping malformed ones, containing disputed cores or bad signatures. Refer to sanitize_bitfields function for implementation details.

Backed candidates sanitization removes malformed ones, candidates which have got concluded invalid disputes against them or candidates produced by unassigned cores. Furthermore any backing votes from disabled validators for a candidate are dropped. This is part of the validator disabling strategy. After filtering the statements from disabled validators a backed candidate may end up with votes count less than minimum_backing_votes (a parameter from HostConfiguiration). In this case the whole candidate is dropped otherwise it will be rejected by process_candidates from pallet inclusion. All checks related to backed candidates are implemented in sanitize_backed_candidates and filter_backed_statements_from_disabled_validators.