An Information-Theoretic Framework for Multi-Hop Networks

The “internet of things” refers to a futuristic scenario in which everyday objects and appliances are wirelessly connected through the Internet.  We study the fundamental rates at which nodes in this type of network can simultaneously and reliably communicate through an arbitrary channel.  The problem is inherently combinatorial in nature; the most appropriate ways of encoding and decoding information depend on the network topology and channel properties, and there are an intractable number of such configurations.  However, we discover an information-theoretic structure that makes it possible to characterize the rate region that includes all possible encoding and decoding schemes.

The Security of Wireless Ad-Hoc Networks

Wireless ad-hoc networks consist of distributed nodes that lack a centralized controller.  The nodes are responsible for discovering routes, choosing schedules, and adapting to topological changes.  We study the design of secure protocols for wireless ad-hoc networks that ensure the network retains its functionality even when adversarial nodes behave in arbitrarily malicious ways.  The current approach to secure protocol design amounts to an arms’ race between attacks and patches.  We propose a clean-slate approach to secure protocol design that offers provable security and performance guarantees regardless of the actions of the adversarial nodes.