# Concepts

# Group

A group is simply an aggregation of accounts with associated weights. It is not an account and doesn't have a balance. It doesn't in and of itself have any sort of voting or decision weight. It does have an "administrator" which has the ability to add, remove and update members in the group. Note that a group policy account could be an administrator of a group, and that the administrator doesn't necessarily have to be a member of the group.

# Group Policy

A group policy is an account associated with a group and a decision policy. Group policies are abstracted from groups because a single group may have multiple decision policies for different types of actions. Managing group membership separately from decision policies results in the least overhead and keeps membership consistent across different policies. The pattern that is recommended is to have a single master group policy for a given group, and then to create separate group policies with different decision policies and delegate the desired permissions from the master account to those "sub-accounts" using the x/authz module.

# Decision Policy

A decision policy is the mechanism by which members of a group can vote on proposals, as well as the rules that dictate whether a proposal should pass or not based on its tally outcome.

All decision policies generally would have a mininum execution period and a maximum voting window. The minimum execution period is the minimum amount of time that must pass after submission in order for a proposal to potentially be executed, and it may be set to 0. The maximum voting window is the maximum time after submission that a proposal may be voted on before it is tallied.

The chain developer also defines an app-wide maximum execution period, which is the maximum amount of time after a proposal's voting period end where users are allowed to execute a proposal.

The current group module comes shipped with two decision policies: threshold and percentage. Any chain developer can extend upon these two, by creating custom decision policies, as long as they adhere to the DecisionPolicy interface:

Copy // DecisionPolicy is the persistent set of rules to determine the result of election on a proposal. type DecisionPolicy interface { codec.ProtoMarshaler // GetVotingPeriod returns the duration after proposal submission where // votes are accepted. GetVotingPeriod() time.Duration // Allow defines policy-specific logic to allow a proposal to pass or not, // based on its tally result, the group's total power and the time since // the proposal was submitted. Allow(tallyResult TallyResult, totalPower string, sinceSubmission time.Duration) (DecisionPolicyResult, error) ValidateBasic() error Validate(g GroupInfo, config Config) error }

# Threshold decision policy

A threshold decision policy defines a threshold of yes votes (based on a tally of voter weights) that must be achieved in order for a proposal to pass. For this decision policy, abstain and veto are simply treated as no's.

This decision policy also has a VotingPeriod window and a MinExecutionPeriod window. The former defines the duration after proposal submission where members are allowed to vote, after which tallying is performed. The latter specifies the minimum duration after proposal submission where the proposal can be executed. If set to 0, then the proposal is allowed to be executed immediately on submission (using the TRY_EXEC option). Obviously, MinExecutionPeriod cannot be greater than VotingPeriod+MaxExecutionPeriod (where MaxExecution is the app-defined duration that specifies the window after voting ended where a proposal can be executed).

# Percentage decision policy

A percentage decision policy is similar to a threshold decision policy, except that the threshold is not defined as a constant weight, but as a percentage. It's more suited for groups where the group members' weights can be updated, as the percentage threshold stays the same, and doesn't depend on how those member weights get updated.

Same as the Threshold decision policy, the percentage decision policy has the two VotingPeriod and MinExecutionPeriod parameters.

# Proposal

Any member(s) of a group can submit a proposal for a group policy account to decide upon. A proposal consists of a set of messages that will be executed if the proposal passes as well as any metadata associated with the proposal.

# Voting

There are four choices to choose while voting - yes, no, abstain and veto. Not all decision policies will take the four choices into account. Votes can contain some optional metadata. In the current implementation, the voting window begins as soon as a proposal is submitted, and the end is defined by the group policy's decision policy.

# Withdrawing Proposals

Proposals can be withdrawn any time before the voting period end, either by the admin of the group policy or by one of the proposers. Once withdrawn, it is marked as PROPOSAL_STATUS_WITHDRAWN, and no more voting or execution is allowed on it.

# Aborted Proposals

If the group policy is updated during the voting period of the proposal, then the proposal is marked as PROPOSAL_STATUS_ABORTED, and no more voting or execution is allowed on it. This is because the group policy defines the rules of proposal voting and execution, so if those rules change during the lifecycle of a proposal, then the proposal should be marked as stale.

# Tallying

Tallying is the counting of all votes on a proposal. It happens only once in the lifecycle of a proposal, but can be triggered by two factors, whichever happens first:

  • either someone tries to execute the proposal (see next section), which can happen on a Msg/Exec transaction, or a Msg/{SubmitProposal,Vote} transaction with the Exec field set. When a proposal execution is attempted, a tally is done first to make sure the proposal passes.
  • or on EndBlock when the proposal's voting period end just passed.

If the tally result passes the decision policy's rules, then the proposal is marked as PROPOSAL_STATUS_ACCEPTED, or else it is marked as PROPOSAL_STATUS_REJECTED. In any case, no more voting is allowed anymore, and the tally result is persisted to state in the proposal's FinalTallyResult.

# Executing Proposals

Proposals are executed only when the tallying is done, and the group account's decision policy allows the proposal to pass based on the tally outcome. They are marked by the status PROPOSAL_STATUS_ACCEPTED. Execution must happen before a duration of MaxExecutionPeriod (set by the chain developer) after each proposal's voting period end.

Proposals will not be automatically executed by the chain in this current design, but rather a user must submit a Msg/Exec transaction to attempt to execute the proposal based on the current votes and decision policy. Any user (not only the group members) can execute proposals that have been accepted, and execution fees are paid by the proposal executor. It's also possible to try to execute a proposal immediately on creation or on new votes using the Exec field of Msg/SubmitProposal and Msg/Vote requests. In the former case, proposers signatures are considered as yes votes. In these cases, if the proposal can't be executed (i.e. it didn't pass the decision policy's rules), it will still be opened for new votes and could be tallied and executed later on.

A successful proposal execution will have its ExecutorResult marked as PROPOSAL_EXECUTOR_RESULT_SUCCESS. The proposal will be automatically pruned after execution. On the other hand, a failed proposal execution will be marked as PROPOSAL_EXECUTOR_RESULT_FAILURE. Such a proposal can be re-executed multiple times, until it expires after MaxExecutionPeriod after voting period end.

# Pruning

Proposals and votes are automatically pruned to avoid state bloat.

Votes are pruned:

  • either after a successful tally, i.e. a tally whose result passes the decision policy's rules, which can be trigged by a Msg/Exec or a Msg/{SubmitProposal,Vote} with the Exec field set,
  • or on EndBlock right after the proposal's voting period end. This applies to proposals with status aborted or withdrawn too.

whichever happens first.

Proposals are pruned:

  • on EndBlock whose proposal status is withdrawn or aborted on proposal's voting period end before tallying,
  • and either after a successful proposal execution,
  • or on EndBlock right after the proposal's voting_period_end + max_execution_period (defined as an app-wide configuration) is passed,

whichever happens first.