Distributed Ledger for Provenance Tracking of Artificial Intelligence Assets

  • Philipp Lüthi
  • Thibault Gagnaux
  • Marcel GygliEmail author
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 576)


High availability of data is responsible for the current trends in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). However, high-grade datasets are reluctantly shared between actors because of lacking trust and fear of losing control. Provenance tracing systems are a possible measure to build trust by improving transparency. Especially the tracing of AI assets along complete AI value chains bears various challenges such as trust, privacy, confidentiality, traceability, and fair remuneration. In this paper we design a graph-based provenance model for AI assets and their relations within an AI value chain. Moreover, we propose a protocol to exchange AI assets securely to selected parties. The provenance model and exchange protocol are then combined and implemented as a smart contract on a permission-less blockchain. We show how the smart contract enables the tracing of AI assets in an existing industry use case while solving all challenges. Consequently, our smart contract helps to increase traceability and transparency, encourages trust between actors and thus fosters collaboration between them.


Artificial intelligence Blockchain Transparency Provenance 



The project leading to this application has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 732204 (Bonseyes). This work is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract numbers 16.0159. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of these funding bodies.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Lüthi
    • 1
  • Thibault Gagnaux
    • 1
  • Marcel Gygli
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW, Institut für Interaktive Technologien (IIT)WindischSwitzerland

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