Nebulas, (NAS, is an open-source, decentralized search framework that will provide users with an algorithm to perform blockchain searches for smart contracts and Dapps. There are an increasing number of decentralized apps and smart contracts being deployed across blockchain networks. As such, there is an increased need for a platform that provides a better experience for users looking for information about these applications.

The Nebulas framework provides the methods and functionality to properly search blockchain technologies for information about any of the smart contracts or decentralized apps. How to search blockchain with Nebulas then becomes necessary for anyone hoping to easily find information about smart contracts and Dapps.

How does Nebulas Search Engine work?

The Nebulas Search Engine allows ordinary people to search and navigate blockchains easily, even if such users have no skills on how blockchain technology works.

When you search the Nebulas search option, it ranks all the results of your search in the form of an aggregated valuation; the ranking gives value to the Dapps based on value systems like liquidity, the value of each smart contract, operability, and interactivity between users and contracts.

The Nebulas will be a self-evolving system service, meaning that there will be no need to fork the network. Users will able to locate every bit of information about smart contracts quickly and in real time. The systems synthesize uploaded source code, break multilingual words, and create full-text indexes. The Nebulas Ranking algorithm then provides an impartial value rank that can be verified by nodes on the network or the community of users.

Making blockchain search easy with Nebulas

The Nebulas developers realized that it is extremely difficult to make smart contracts searchable on the available search engines because smart contracts consisted of only code without any functional descriptions. Therefore using the available search engines like Google was impossible.

To make the searching of these codes easier, the Nebulas team has integrated the following into the search framework:

  • Nebulas Rank (NR) – this is a value rank feature that helps users to efficiently search blockchains and to identify and utilize valuable data.
  • Nebulas Force (NF) – this is a feature that provides for a smooth upgrade of the system, helping it to achieve self-evolution and to avoid the need for a fork.

Apart from NR and NF, the Nebulas team is also encouraging developers to ensure that they upload smart contract whose source codes are verified, analyzed and indexed for easy searching.

They will also have set standards for smart contracts which includes descriptions of searchable information about the Dapps or smart contracts. If any meets the said specifications, then users searching for it will be able to find it.

How do you search the blockchain using Nebulas?

You can search blockchain for information on smart contracts and Dapps in the following ways:

  • by way of a Keyword Query
  • by searching for a similar Smart Contract
  • Nebulas APIs

i) Keyword Query
This approach of searching the blockchain is akin to what we do when searching the internet using search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Anyone can use Keyword Query to search, identify and utilize information on various smart contracts or decentralized applications built on blockchain technology.

It requires the user to provide keywords or a description of the smart contract.

A user will be required to provide lead queries like a title, name of contract developer/author(s) or give a description of the function associated with the Dapps or SC.

These queries are provided in the user’s natural language like in English, German, and Chinese and so on.
The Nebulas algorithm will use these key terms to give data related to what the user is searching for. The NR algorithm sorts and relays the results of the search for the user.

ii) Similar Smart Contracts Search
This approach is quite technical and may not be suitable for those without technological details about Smart Contract or Dapps functionality. If you are a developer or a user with express knowledge about smart contracts similarities, then you can perform Nebulas search using this approach. It is important for you to have certain particular details (code) about the smart contract to be able to get the desired results.

To search the blockchain you will need to have any of the following code-related information:

  • String edit distance algorithm
  • Token type sequence
  • Abstract syntax tree
  • Program dependency graph

iii) Nebulas APIs
The Nebulas APIs also allows users to develop personalized search engines on top of Nebulas that suit their individual search needs.

For instance, if you are interested in Smart Contracts and Dapps that provide blockchain solutions for electricity, the first thing is to search Nebulas for such Dapps.

Once you have identified the Dapps or smart contract based on the Nebulas Rank, you can then go ahead and formulate a “contract” with Nebulas that will allow it to calculate and determine on which blockchain you are likely to get the most value. This is done continuously, allowing you to use the NR ranking to make decisions regarding the best blockchain platform.

Do we really need Nebulas?

There is a growing consensus among cryptocurrency communities that Nebulas has the potential to be the “Google” of the blockchain. One very attractive proposition is that the search engine is decentralized and therefore adds neutrality or impartiality to the search.

The other reason Nebulas is going to be so important will be because of its convenience. With the Nebulas Search Engine, a user is provided with a framework to search across all blockchains and Dapps, without the need for them to go off the system. For instance, you can search across the Ethereum Virtual Machine, Q TUM, IOTA and Simple Token; all on the Nebulas platform.

Final thoughts about Nebulas

The Nebulas project is coming out at the right time for blockchain technology. It is likely to help several people understand blockchain and therefore know how to interact with it. The self-evolving feature in the Nebulas Force is an attractive one because it can be adopted by blockchains to help remove the need for forking. Should it work to its full potential as indicated the elaborate whitepaper, then Nebulas will become one of the most important innovations in blockchain history.

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