[c-lightning] Towards an autopilot

Rusty Russell rusty at rustcorp.com.au
Wed Mar 28 11:34:47 AEDT 2018

ZmnSCPxj at protonmail.com writes:
> Good morning c-lightningers,
> Ideally, a nontechnical human user will simply cause funds to be sent to their c-lightning node, and then some time after be able to send funds on Lightning.
> A step towards that ideal, is an autopilot (similar to that of lnd) which manages onchain funds and opens channels to the network as it detects funds.
> So I propose an autopilotd, of the below architecture

I think we want something much simpler.

1.  Initial setup: get me a channel or two.
2.  I want to make a payment.  Figure it out.

The setup should use a heuristic like:

a. If we would burn more than 1% of funds to open a channel, only open 1.
b. Otherwise, open two (or three?).

We should agree on a proximity algorithm which is likely to create an
efficient robust network (Cyclic Superhubs?).  This needs more research!

In addition, we should avoid nodes which are too large, too new or too
unreliable (how do we measure this?).  This bias against new nodes
should weaken for successive channels, but after the first channel we
might want a single channel to a "nearby" node in network latency on
the theory that most payments (eventually) will be meatspace-local.

The payment should use a heuristic like:

a. Can I send like normal?
b. Can I rebalance channels to send?
c. Do I need to set up a new channel?

I agree with your instincts: this effort is really separate from the
core c-lightning.  It's really a user, and I'm not even sure if it
should be in the same git repo.


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