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Agent-based Distributed Group Key Establishment in Wireless Sensor Networks

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4 Author(s)
Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis ; Computer Technology Institute, P.O. Box 1122, 26110 Patras, Greece; Department of Computer Engineering and Informatics, University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece, ichatz@cti.gr ; Konstantinou, E. ; Liagkou, V. ; Spirakis, P.

Wireless sensor networks are comprised of a vast number of ultra-small autonomous computing, communication and sensing devices, with restricted energy and computing capabilities, that co-operate to accomplish a large sensing task. Such networks can be very useful in practice, e.g. in the local monitoring of ambient conditions and reporting them to a control center. In this paper we propose a distributed group key establishment protocol that uses mobile agents (software) and is particularly suitable for energy constrained, dynamically evolving ad-hoc networks. Our approach totally avoids the construction and the maintenance of a distributed structure that reflects the topology of the network. Moreover, it trades-off complex message exchanges by performing some amount of additional local computations in order to be applicable at dense and dynamic sensor networks. The extra computations are simple for the devices to implement and are evenly distributed across the participants of the network leading to good energy balance. We evaluate the performance of our protocol in a simulated environment and compare our results with existing group key establishment protocols. The security of the protocol is based on the Diffie-Hellman problem and we used in our experiments its elliptic curve analog. Our findings basically indicate the feasibility of implementing our protocol in real sensor network devices and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each approach given the available technology and the corresponding efficiency (energy, time) criteria.

Published in:

World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks, 2007. WoWMoM 2007. IEEE International Symposium on a

Date of Conference:

18-21 June 2007