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In our runtime we have a custom implementation of offence reporting. I want to write an adapter for grandpa equivocation offences (implementing the ReportOffence trait), and have been using the offences pallet as a guide for how to do this.

In the Offences pallet, offence details are stored in a map of (effectively) (Offence::ID, Slot, Offender) => OffenceDetails (see here). This allows efficient lookup of reports that have already been submitted via HandleEquivocations::is_known_offence.

The downside seems to be that we can never prune any reports, since otherwise the offence report could (presumably) be replayed by some malicious party, causing an offender to be slashed twice for the same offence. Indeed, checking the chain state of offence.reports() on polkadot, my browser slows noticeably while downloading and parsing the huge number of accumulated reports. So it appears these are never (or rarely?) pruned.

In my implementation of [ReportOffence], I would like to to avoid the abovementioned storage bloat if possible. Thus my plan would be to take advantage of the Ord property of Offence::TimeSlot. Instead of storing a map of (Offence::ID, Slot, Offender) => OffenceDetails, I would store (Offence::ID, Offender) => Slot and then reject any equivocation report for a slot older than slot of the last reported offence.

So, a couple of concrete questions:

  • Is there any fundamental reason that offence reports are (or seem to be) stored indefinitely in polkadot, apart from checking for dupliate reports?
  • Similarly: Is there any fundamental reason that frame's offences pallet does not implement double-slashing prevention through the TimeSlot: Ord trait rather than a hash?

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The reason why offence reports are stored indefinitely in Polkadot is to prevent the possibility of a malicious party replaying the same offence report, resulting in the offender being slashed twice for the same offence. By storing all offence reports indefinitely, the system can always check if a new report is a duplicate or not.

Regarding the second question, there is no fundamental reason why the offences pallet in the FRAME framework does not implement double-slashing prevention through the TimeSlot: Ord trait. It is possible to implement this using the Ord trait, as you have described. However, it may require some changes to the existing implementation of the offences pallet, which may not be trivial.

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