Research Reports

Blockchain Data Structures for Tracking DoD Budget Spending

October 2022

AUTHORS:  Dr. Yeganeh M. Hayeri, Dr. Ian Taylor

This study aims to develop a blockchain data structure and a prototype to track budgeting as funds flow between DoD elements. The objective is to improve insights into transactions to enable acquisition funding flexibility and to better spend tracking information for DoD planning, management, and macro balancing.

Budget tracking has not been tackled by blockchain technology. The existing solutions in other domains only utilize the blockchain as a service. They do not consider how techniques such as graph analyses and machine learning may be used to improve a blockchain-based solution. An inappropriate design of blockchain may lead to a drastic increase in data redundancy of the system, which may result in the high cost of system maintenance in large-scale systems such as government infrastructures. In addition, because of the high volume of data in a blockchain-based system, it is necessary to develop tools, such as graph analyses combined with blockchain, to extract new information and patterns from the data. 

A prototype for organizing a blockchain data structure is proposed with the aid of graph analysis concepts. Upon developing a preliminary roadmap, and a graph network demonstrating DoD fund transfers, seven novel use cases have been proposed to show the applicability of this solution. Use cases cover several issues related to budget management, data manipulation, and security optimization, as well as issues related to cost and cost-effectiveness. For each use case, the researchers identified which problem has been targeted, how the proposed design can be applied, and how the suggested solution design can be beneficial.