Challenging Answers

The core mechanism that allows the computation marketplace to operate is the ability to perform the computation on-chain in the event of a dispute. In the event that a participant in the computation side of the marketplace sees an answer submitted to a request which does not match their own computations, they may challenge the answer.

This initiates a 3-step process which will execute the computation within the EVM to verify which submitted answer is correct. The gas costs for this computation are paid for from the deposit of the incorrect submitter.

Step 1: Challenge

  • function challengeAnswer(uint id, bytes result) public

Anytime after an answer has been submitted and the request is in the WaitingForResolution the answer may be challenged with the challengeAnswer. The arguments for challenging and answer are the same as the answerRequest function.

Challenge Deposit

Challenging an answer requires the same deposit amount as the initial answer submission. This minimum value is returned at the 9th index of the return value of getRequest.

Retrieve Challenge Answer

The data related to the challenge answer can be retrieved with the following functions:

function getChallengeAnswer(uint id) constant returns (bytes32 resultHash,
                                                       address submitter,
                                                       uint creationBlock,
                                                       bool isVerified,
                                                       uint depositAmount);
function getChallengeAnswerResult(uint id) constant returns (bytes);

These two functions follow the same API and return values as the getInitialAnswer and getInitialAnswerResult functions.

Step 2: Initialize Dispute

  • function initializeDispute(uint id) public returns (address)`

Once an answer has been challenged, it needs to have the dispute resolution initialized. This is done by calling the initializeDispute. This function may be called by anyone once a challenge has been submitted. The broker contract will use it’s factory to deploy a new executable contract initialized with the inputs for this request.

The gas costs for calling this function are fully reimbursed during execution.

Step 3: Computation & Resolution

  • function executeExecutable(uint id, uint nTimes) public returns (uint i, bool isFinished)

Once the dispute has been initialized, the executeExecutable function must be called until the the computation has been completed. Once computation completes the function will be set to the FirmResolution status.

The gas costs for calling this function are fully reimbursed during execution.


Once a request is in the FirmResolution status it can be finalized the same as if it were soft resolved. In the FirmResolution case, the result of the on-chain computation is set as the final result of the requested computation.

  • If one of the submitted answers was correct, they may then reclaim their full deposit and are sent the payment value in wei.
  • If both of the submitted answers were wrong, the submitters split the gas costs evenly. In this case, the payment value is returned to the address that requested the computation.
  • Either submitter who’s answer was incorrect can reclaim the remainder of their deposit that was not used for on-chain gas costs.