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NuNet Private Alpha Part 2: platform fundamentals

After months of development, we are proud to announce that the launch of NuNet’s Private Alpha has arrived! The first post of this series, published a day ago, presented the user oriented aspect of the release – fake news warning application, built from AI Services running on NuNet platform.

This is an exciting release, as we can now run AI services in a truly decentralized way on NuNet’s dynamic hardware/software mesh, with many endpoints and geographically dispersed topologies – based on community provided hardware – all coming together in a single workflow.

Private Alpha allows Linux boxes to join the NuNet Private Alpha via a simplified install script, which onboard computational resources to NuNet, and the browser extension to test the fake news warning AI running on it. Please note that the private alpha uses tokens on a private testnet – they are not fungible.

Private Alpha implements the basic building blocks of the actual platform architecture and showcases the NuNet vision in all its important features –

  1. AI services running in software containers, across an open network of diverse hardware;
  2. Users contribute a specific amount of their computing resources to NuNet tasks. an onboarding procedure performs benchmarking, asks your preferences, and gives NuNet permission to deploy AI services using the resources you allocate;
  3. Software that spins up complex workflows ad hoc, automatically resolving dependencies and calling on just the right amount of computing resources from around the network;
  4. Tokenomic matchmaking between supply and demand. The private alpha allows machines to enter a smart contract which holds (testnet) tokens in escrow, and releases them when the compute provider returns properly formatted results;
  5. The private alpha demonstrates the key technical ability of connecting privately-owned machines – that are behind NAT routers – to the network, allowing them to discover and be discovered by private devices. NuNet adapters run on each machine and enable p2p communication, between machines with both private and public IP addresses, anywhere on the Internet.
  6. Blockchain integration. The blockchain components of the private alpha run on a private instance of Ethereum’s code. This allows us to demonstrate the software interacting with Ethereum and its smart contracts, while sidestepping the fees and congestion that would be required to run on Ethereum mainnet. However, NuNet is blockchain agnostic and will soon integrate into other blockchains, starting with Cardano.

The release includes tools for distributed tracing and logging, making it possible to build, debug and monitor applications running on NuNet, directly and in real time. We use the industry-standard OpenTelemetry framework for this, as well as the Jaeger distributed tracing framework. The fake news warning showcase application has an in-built developer tooling access, through which developers can access all backend processes.

This release, like all future releases, is fully open source. You can scrutinise our source code and development git at gitlab.com/nunet – this is another way to democratize and decentralize NuNet. By getting more eyes on our code and hands in its development, we can build a higher-quality decentralized computing environment faster, and find new development talent to develop NuNet as the infrastructure of the Singularity. Most importantly, the open nature of the platform facilitates collective intelligence of multiple stakeholders of the platform-users, compute providers, application and AI developers, business process managers, core developers and volunteers.

The public alpha will be released a few months later, and will include all these features plus integration with the Ethereum mainnet, first payment gateways within SingularityNET ecosystem and community development program.

For those of you who prefer a video explanation, here’s a deep dive video into the features and design of the private alpha –

Major features of the private Alpha are:

Dynamic Service Deployment

NuNet takes distributed AI services hosted on SingularityNET as docker containers, and deploys them on a decentralized network of computers with diverse hardware. The private alpha is thus a demo of a full serverless computing solution that avoids lock-in to any one vendor and promotes seamless interoperation between machines on an open internet. Later releases will enhance functionality with end-to-end security for each workflow and sandboxed computing processes.

See this video and its slides for an in-depth understanding of NuNet’s service discovery principles.

New device onboarding procedure

The private alpha includes a demo script for Linux boxes that allows users to contribute a specific amount of their computing resources to NuNet’s network. The script performs the necessary benchmarking, asks the user their preferences, and gives NuNet permission to use the resources to run AI workflows.

Workflow construction

The Private Alpha demonstrates how NuNet can construct complex application logic and complex computational workflows – involving many AI services on many different machines. This is done via declaring a program graph to the NuNet platform, based on which the platform automatically resolves the dependencies. In the future, NuNet will automatically scale this hardware/software service mesh to the dynamic requirements of the application. The Fake News Warning application showcases a browser-extension whose workflow is dynamically constructed and deployed on a distributed network from SingularityNET AI Services available from its marketplace (stance detection and binary classification).

Token compensation for service providers

The Private Alpha implements and demonstrates the basics of internal tokenomics and supply-demand dynamics of the platform.

Machines can automatically enter into a smart contract which holds payment in escrow for each workflow and releases it to each machine and AI Service in proportion to the work it contributed, provided that correctly formatted results are returned. The private Alpha showcases a smart contract that mines NuNet test tokens and sends them to machine owners who complete the work. In the future versions of the platform, we will add a generic gateway which SingularityNET AI services will automatically send a portion of their income to cover their computing costs. The gateway will later accommodate services on frameworks other than SingularityNET.

Network status monitoring and process tracking

All activity on NuNet is monitored by a publicly-available network status dashboard. With some resemblance to blockchain monitoring services, the dashboard registers each computational process carried out by the machines on NuNet, the precise telemetry and costs of each process, overall network utilization statistics and computing power. The private alpha utilizes the network status dashboard that was developed by NuNet for its first Minimal Viable Product. In future releases, the platform will feature individual dashboards to allow each user (consumers and providers) to explore telemetry, earnings and costs of operations in full.

Point-to-point communication between machines

A key technical capability of NuNet is that it allows privately-owned machines behind Network Address Translation (NAT) routers to join the network, discover and be discovered by other private devices. The backbone of NuNet’s technology is secure p2p communication between machines in the network, both private and public. The private Alpha enables adapters running on each separate machine, with a private or public Internet address, to communicate over an overlay network.

Private testnet

We run a private Ethereum network for developing, debugging and monitoring the smart contracts of each workflow, and to benchmark and adjust the tokenomic dynamics of the whole network. Later versions of the platform will ship the developed tokenomic system to public blockchains, but will continue to maintain and provide access to multiple private testchains (whether Ethereum or other blockchains) as a part of the developer tooling.

The future of NuNet

The NuNet private alpha, and the fake news warning application built on it, serve as proof of concept of a broader potential. NuNet and SingularityNET have complementary goals: both strive to build an API of APIs that ties together worldwide computing resources, data, and ingenuity. With SingularityNET agents calling on NuNet, we can build a global intelligence that is decentralized across several layers – a decentralized swarm of intelligences running on a decentralized hardware mesh.

With the private Alpha release, we invite community developers and early compute providers to onboard their machines to test network and start contributing to building the global economy of computing processes -- in a most democratic, inclusive and technically sane way.

About NuNet: NuNet lets anyone share and monetize their computing resources, turning cloud computing power from a centralized service into an open protocol powered by blockchain. Find out more via:

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NuNet provides globally distributed computing power and storage for decentralized networks and global intelligent computing.

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Kabir Veitas

Kabir Veitas

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