Filecoin Dashboard and Block Explorer Definitions

#1

It would be great to publicly list definitions for metrics included in the existing Filecoin Block Explorer and Dashboard for those new to the network.

When providing answers about these terms, it would be helpful if you could explain why these metrics are important to the Filecoin Network, and how certain metrics might relate to each other.

Hoping for more info on the following terms:

  • Address:

  • Code CID:

  • peerID:

^^ how do the three metrics above relate to identifying an actor on the network? Is peerID the same as miner address or is it something different?

  • Nonce (in the context of Filecoin):

  • Actor:

  • Power:

  • Tipset: A collection of blocks mined by different miners, each an elected leader of a given epoch. All tip sets have the same parent-set and epoch number (height).

  • Tipset hash:

  • Ticket: Some unpredictable element generated by the system for two uses: 1) as a random challenge to PoSTs and 2) to elect a leader in Expected Consensus.

  • Messages:

  • Receipts:

  • Block Height:

  • Balance:

#2

Hi Brouser,
This is a good question. I’ll provide definitions as best I can.

  • Address :
    This is identifies an actor on the state tree. The state tree is how we represent the state of the blockchain. It consists of actors keyed by addresses, each of which have their own state (also a tree).

  • Code CID :
    Every actor has a code CID that indicates what type of actor it is. Actors can perform different types of actions based on their code CID.

  • peerID :
    The peerID identifies a filecoin node on the network. We store peerID of miner actors on chain because the deal protocol requires the filecoin user and miner nodes to communicate off chain, and they find each other using the miner’s peerID.

^^ how do the three metrics above relate to identifying an actor on the network? Is peerID the same as miner address or is it something different?

The peerID is different from the miner’s address. A Filecoin storage user will need to communicate with a storage miner across the network. To do so, they find the miner actor (a representation of the miner user) in their local state tree by the miner address. That miner actor contains the peerID that they can use to contact the storage miner across the network.

  • Nonce (in the context of Filecoin):
    Actors and messages have nonces. The actor nonce records (on chain) how many messages have been sent from that actor. The message nonce is number of messages that have been sent by that actor at the time it was sent. We can use these two values to ensure that messages are processed only once and in the right order.

  • Actor :
    Actors hold chain state and provide methods to alter that state. A message sent to an actor with a method will execute a function against that actor that may change it’s state. All chain state is stored and altered in this manner.

  • Power :
    Power (specifically power / total storage power) defines the probability that a storage miner will win a ticket to mine the next block. Miners gain power by sealing data and proving they still possess it (PoST).

  • Tipset : A collection of blocks mined by different miners, each an elected leader of a given epoch. All tip sets have the same parent-set and epoch number (height).

  • Tipset hash :
    A hash formed from the hashes of all the blocks contained within the tipset.

  • Ticket : Some unpredictable element generated by the system for two uses: 1) as a random challenge to PoSTs and 2) to elect a leader in Expected Consensus.

  • Messages :
    Messages are how users perform actions on the filecoin network. Messages have a value property. If it is not zero, that amount of Filecoin will be transferred from the sender to the receiver. Message also have a method and params. If those are not empty, a message will execute that method on the receiving actor with the given params.

  • Receipts :
    A data structure that contains the results of processing a message.

  • Block Height :
    The number of tipsets that are on the chain being processed.

  • Balance :
    All actors have a balance, which is an amount of Filecoin. The Filecoin in a user’s wallet is represented as the balance of an AccountActor on chain. All actors can have a balance, and non-account actor balances usually represent some sort of escrow. A miner’s collateral, for example, is represented as the miner actor’s balance on chain.

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#3

Thanks so much, @alex!