Alignment and Cooperation for Secrecy in Multi-User Channels
Bassily, Raef Bahi
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The study of the physical layer has offered a new perspective to the problem of communication security. This led to the development of a vast set of ideas and techniques rooted in information theory which can be employed in practice to provide unbreakable security. The information-theoretic approach relies mainly on the physical nature of the communication medium. In a wireless medium, the unique features of the wireless communication channel, such as its fading and broadcast nature, can be exploited to achieve higher secure information rates. In this dissertation, we study the secure transmission problem in wireless channels from an information-theoretic perspective. We first consider the fading multiple access wiretap channel. We give two new achievable schemes that use the time-varying (fading) nature of the channel to align the interference from different users at the eavesdropper perfectly in a one-dimensional space while creating a higher-dimensional space for the interfering signals at the legitimate receiver hence allowing for better chance of recovery. While we achieve this alignment through signal scaling at the transmitters in our first scheme (scaling based alignment), we let nature provide this alignment through the ergodicity of the channel coefficients in the second scheme (ergodic secret alignment). For each scheme, we show that the achievable secrecy rates scale logarithmically with the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Next, we study the security gains that can be achieved in a wireless network by employing cooperation among the nodes which is possible due to the broadcast nature of the wireless channel. We investigate the role of passive (also known as deaf) cooperation in improving the achievable secrecy rates in a Gaussian multiple relay network with an external eavesdropper. We distinguish between two modes of deaf cooperation, namely, cooperative jamming (CJ) and noise forwarding (NF). We derive the conditions in which each mode of deaf cooperation achieves secrecy rates that are higher than the secrecy capacity of the original Gaussian wiretap channel. As a result, we show that a deaf helper cannot be a useful cooperative jammer and noise forwarder at the same time. We derive the optimal power control policy for each mode. We consider the deaf helper selection problem where a fixed-size set of deaf helpers (possibly operating in different modes) are to be selected from the set of available relays so that the achievable secrecy rate is maximized. We propose a simple and efficient suboptimal strategy for selection which is shown to be optimal when only one helper is selected. Furthermore, we study the role of a multi-antenna deaf helper. Unlike the single antenna case, we show that, in general, it is useful to split the helper's power between cooperative jamming and noise forwarding. Hence, we propose a deaf cooperation strategy for this model and derive its optimal power control policy. We also show, for specific class of relay-eavesdropper channels, that a simple cooperative jamming strategy yields a secrecy rate that approaches the secrecy capacity as the helper's power is increased. Finally, we consider the role of active cooperation for secrecy in the multiple relay networks. We propose several relaying strategies for secure communication and derive the achievable secrecy rate for each strategy. In our strategies the relays decode the source signal and then forward it to the destination either in a single-hop or a multi-hop fashion. Each relay scales its transmitted signal in a way that ensures that signal components from different relays are canceled out at the eavesdropper.