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Resilient Cluster Leader Election for Wireless Sensor Networks

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2 Author(s)
Qi Dong ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Univ. of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA ; Donggang Liu

Sensor nodes are often organized into clusters for efficiency and scalability purposes. Every sensor cluster is managed by a cluster leader during the network operation such as routing and data aggregation. Since managing a cluster consumes substantial energy, the cluster leader needs to be re-elected from time to time for load balancing. In hostile environments, it is critical to ensure the security of such leader election. This paper proposes an efficient, resilient, and fully distributed leader election protocol for sensor networks. It only uses efficient symmetric key operations and guarantees that (i) benign cluster members will elect the same leader as long as they are well- connected, and (ii) attackers cannot impact the leader election process to increase or decrease the chance of a benign member being elected as a cluster leader. In addition, the proposed method can quickly recover from message loss or malicious attacks. The evaluation results also demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of this approach.

Published in:

Sensor, Mesh and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks, 2009. SECON '09. 6th Annual IEEE Communications Society Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-26 June 2009