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A scalable multicast key management scheme for heterogeneous wireless networks

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3 Author(s)
Yan Sun ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA ; W. Trappe ; K. J. R. Liu

Secure multicast applications require key management that provides access control. In wireless networks, where the error rate is high and the bandwidth is limited, the design of key management schemes should place emphasis on reducing the communication burden associated with key updating. A communication-efficient class of key management schemes is those that employ a tree hierarchy. However, these tree-based key management schemes do not exploit issues related to the delivery of keying information that provide opportunities to further reduce the communication burden of rekeying. In this paper, we propose a method for designing multicast key management trees that match the network topology. The proposed key management scheme localizes the transmission of keying information and significantly reduces the communication burden of rekeying. Further, in mobile wireless applications, the issue of user handoff between base stations may cause user relocation on the key management tree. We address the problem of user handoff by proposing an efficient handoff scheme for our topology-matching key management trees. The proposed scheme also addresses the heterogeneity of the network. For multicast applications containing several thousands of users, simulations indicate a 55%-80% reduction in the communication cost compared to key trees that are independent of the network topology. Analysis and simulations also show that the communication cost of the proposed topology-matching key management tree scales better than topology-independent trees as the size of multicast group grows.

Published in:

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 4 )