INFORMATION THEORETIC SECRET KEY GENERATION: STRUCTURED CODES AND TREE PACKING
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation deals with a multiterminal source model for secret key generation by multiple network terminals with prior and privileged access to a set of correlated signals complemented by public discussion among themselves. Emphasis is placed on a characterization of secret key capacity, i.e., the largest rate of an achievable secret key, and on algorithms for key construction. Various information theoretic security requirements of increasing stringency: weak, strong and perfect secrecy, as well as different types of sources: finite-valued and continuous, are studied. Specifically, three different models are investigated. First, we consider strong secrecy generation for a discrete multiterminal source model. We discover a connection between secret key capacity and a new source coding concept of ``minimum information rate for signal dissemination,'' that is of independent interest in multiterminal data compression. Our main contribution is to show for this discrete model that structured linear codes suffice to generate a strong secret key of the best rate. Second, strong secrecy generation is considered for models with continuous observations, in particular jointly Gaussian signals. In the absence of suitable analogs of source coding notions for the previous discrete model, new techniques are required for a characterization of secret key capacity as well as for the design of algorithms for secret key generation. Our proof of the secret key capacity result, in particular the converse proof, as well as our capacity-achieving algorithms for secret key construction based on structured codes and quantization for a model with two terminals, constitute the two main contributions for this second model. Last, we turn our attention to perfect secrecy generation for fixed signal observation lengths as well as for their asymptotic limits. In contrast with the analysis of the previous two models that relies on probabilistic techniques, perfect secret key generation bears the essence of ``zero-error information theory,'' and accordingly, we rely on mathematical techniques of a combinatorial nature. The model under consideration is the ``Pairwise Independent Network'' (PIN) model in which every pair of terminals share a random binary string, with the strings shared by distinct pairs of terminals being mutually independent. This model, which is motivated by practical aspects of a wireless communication network in which terminals communicate on the same frequency, results in three main contributions. First, the concept of perfect omniscience in data compression leads to a single-letter formula for the perfect secret key capacity of the PIN model; moreover, this capacity is shown to be achieved by linear noninteractive public communication, and coincides with strong secret key capacity. Second, taking advantage of a multigraph representation of the PIN model, we put forth an efficient algorithm for perfect secret key generation based on a combinatorial concept of maximal packing of Steiner trees of the multigraph. When all the terminals seek to share perfect secrecy, the algorithm is shown to achieve capacity. When only a subset of terminals wish to share perfect secrecy, the algorithm is shown to achieve at least half of it. Additionally, we obtain nonasymptotic and asymptotic bounds on the size and rate of the best perfect secret key generated by the algorithm. These bounds are of independent interest from a purely graph theoretic viewpoint as they constitute new estimates for the maximum size and rate of Steiner tree packing of a given multigraph. Third, a particular configuration of the PIN model arises when a lone ``helper'' terminal aids all the other ``user'' terminals generate perfect secrecy. This model has special features that enable us to obtain necessary and sufficient conditions for Steiner tree packing to achieve perfect secret key capacity.