Pair Wise Key Establishment in Wireless Sensor Networks.

Date of Submission

December 2010

Date of Award

Winter 12-12-2011

Institute Name (Publisher)

Indian Statistical Institute

Document Type

Master's Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Technology

Subject Name

Computer Science


Theoretical Statistics and Mathematics Unit (TSMU-Kolkata)


Barua, Rana (TSMU-Kolkata; ISI)

Abstract (Summary of the Work)

Introduction to WSN1.1 Wireless Sensor NetworkWireless sensor networks have recently emerged as an important means to study and interact with the physical world. A sensor network typically consists of a large number of tiny sensor nodes and possibly a few powerful control nodes(also called base stations). Every sensor node has one or a few sensing components to sense conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity, pressure) from its immediate surroundings and a processing and communication component to carry out simple computation on the raw data and communicate with its neighbor nodes. Sensor nodes are usually densely deployed in a large scale and communicate with each other in short distances via wireless links. The control nodes may further process the data collected from the sensor nodes, disseminate control commands to the sensor nodes, and connect the network to a traditional wired network.Sensor nodes are usually scattered randomly in the field and will form a sensor network after deployment in an ad hoc manner to fulfill certain tasks. There is usually no infrastructure support for sensor networks. As one example, let us look at the battle field surveillance. In this application, a large number of small sensor nodes are rapidly deployed in a battlefield via airplanes or trucks. After deployment, these sensor nodes are quickly self-organized together to form an ad-hoc network. Each individual sensor node then monitors conditions and activities in its local surroundings and reports its observations to a central server by communicating with its neighbors. Collecting these observations from sensor nodes allows us to conduct accurate detections on the activities (e.g., possible attacks) of the opposing force and make appropriate decisions and responses in the battlefield.Obviously, the design of sensor networks requires wireless networking techniques, especially wireless ad hoc networking techniques. However, most traditional wireless networking protocols and algorithms are not suitable for sensor networks. One main challenge of designing a sensor network comes from the resource constraints on sensor nodes.The wide applications of wireless sensor networks and the challenges in designing such networks have attracted many researchers to develop protocols and algorithms for sensor networks. Note that sensor networks may be deployed in hostile environments where enemies may be present. Security becomes a critical issue to make sure the correct operation of sensor networks in many security sensitive scenarios such as military tasks.1.2 Design ChallengesSecurity becomes one of the major concerns when there are potential attacks against sensor networks. many protocols and algorithms (e.g, routing, localization) will not work in hostile environments without security protection. Security services such as authentication and key management are critical to ensure the normal operations of a sensor network in hostile environments. However, some special features of sensor networks make it particularly challenging to provide these security services for sensor networks.• Resource constraints : Sensor nodes are usually resource constrained, especially energy constrained. Every operation reduces the lifetime of a sensor node. This makes it undesirable to perform expensive operations such as public key cryptography (e.g. RSA) on sensor nodes. Though the size of message can be increased, it is generally not practical to accommodate long message, since wireless communication is one of the most expensive operation on sensor node.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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