Title page for ETD etd-07072011-183310

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Soosahabi, Reza
Author's Email Address rsoosa1@lsu.edu
URN etd-07072011-183310
Title Secure Distributed Detection in Bandwidth-Constrained Wireless Sensor Networks
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Electrical & Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Naraghi-Pour, Morteza Committee Chair
Liang, Xue-Bin Committee Member
Wei, Shuangqing Committee Member
  • decentralized detection
  • information security
  • decision fusion
Date of Defense 2011-07-27
Availability unrestricted
Utilizing wireless sensor network (WSN) is a novel idea in a variety of applications. However, the limited resources allocated to the sensor nodes make the design of WSNs a challenging problem. We consider the problem of hypothesis testing in a bandwidth-constrained, low-power wireless sensor network operating over insecure links. Sensors quantize their observations and transmit their decisions to an intended (ally) fusion center (AFC) which combines the received messages to detect the state of an unknown hypothesis.

In many applications the sensor messages are vulnerable to unauthorized eavesdropping. The scarce bandwidth and processing power for the sensors rule out the utilization of advanced encryption techniques. To protect their transmissions from an unauthorized (third party) fusion center (TPFC), the sensors use a simple encryption whereby they randomly flip their quantization outcomes, similarly to what happens in a discrete memoryless channel. It is assumed that AFC is aware of the encryption probabilities (keys) but TPFC is not.

For the AFC the decision rule is formulated as a constrained optimization problem where one constraint is a lower bound on the error probability of TPFC. The optimal decision rules for the two fusion centers are then derived. It is shown that by appropriate design of the encryption probabilities and the AFC decision rule, it is possible to degrade the error probability of the TPFC significantly and still achieve very low probability of error for the AFC. Numerical results are presented to show that it is possible to ensure that TPFC does not gain any information from the observation of sensors transmissions.
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