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Title: Design and Analysis of Authentication Mechanisms in Single- and Multi-Hop Wireless Networks
Authors: Liang, Wei
Advisors: Wenye Wang, Committee Chair
Michael Devetsikiotis, Committee Member
Khaled A. Harfoush, Committee Member
Arne A. Nilsson, Committee Member
Keywords: security
wireless networks
Issue Date: 12-Aug-2005
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Electrical Engineering
Abstract: The increasing demand for ubiquitous Internet services imposes more security threats to communications due to open mediums in wireless networks. Thus, security mechanisms are proposed to protect communications, while putting more overheads on the transmission. As one of most widely used security mechanisms, authentication is used to identify mobile nodes (MNs), prevent unauthorized usage, and negotiate credentials with heavy overhead. Nevertheless, authentication mechanisms also induce heavy burdens, such as encryption/decryption load and long delay, in wireless networks. Although some solutions are proposed to reduce the burdens caused by the authentication, there have been little quantitative analysis, flexible protocol design, and optimized architecture implementation on the authentication that are adaptive to the quality of service (QoS) up to date. In this thesis, we propose in-depth design and analysis of the authentication protocol and architecture to improve the authentication efficiency, such as delay and call dropping probability, in single- and multi-hop wireless networks. In the single-hop wireless networks, we first analyze the impact of authentication on the security and QoS quantitatively. Then, we present enhanced protocols for net-to-net and mobile-to-net authentication on hierarchical authentication architecture (HAA), which is the most widely used in wireless networks. The enhanced protocols are designed with the dynamic security associations (SAs) based on different functions of metrics to reduce the authentication delay and cost. Moreover, considering that HAA is not sufficient to network manageability and security, we further propose a new architecture with two control schemes for net-to-net and mobile-to-net authentication. The architecture is composed of licensed authentication centers and intelligent control schemes based on a utility function. The design of this architecture is effective to reducing the authentication latency, improving network scalability, and enhancing the network security in terms of reducing the number of SAs when inter-domain roaming happens. In the multi-hop wireless networks, we propose reliable clustering algorithms to improve the service availability, which can cooperate with the proposed authentication protocols between clusters. In this design, the energy consumption and mobility of nodes are evaluated quantitatively, and the proposed authentication protocols are entangled with the construction of hierarchical clusters dynamically, which is not only able to handle the failure of nodes efficiently, but also able to guarantee the security even from the start of constructing network architectures when mobile nodes frequently join and leave the multi-hop wireless networks. As shown in the numerical and simulation results, by improving the authentication efficiency, such as delay and call dropping probability, in single- and multi-hop wireless networks significantly, our research demonstrates an in-depth impact of authentication on security and QoS in wireless networks, and builds a solid ground for future improvement of authentication protocols and architectures.
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