A key predistribution scheme for sensor networks using deployment knowledge

Wenliang Du, Jing Deng, Yunghsiang S. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


To achieve security in wireless sensor networks, it is important to be able to encrypt messages sent among sensor nodes. Keys for encryption purposes must be agreed upon by communicating nodes. Due to resource constraints, achieving such key agreement in wireless sensor networks is nontrivial. Many key agreement schemes used in general networks, such as Diffie-Hellman and public-key-based schemes, are not suitable for wireless sensor networks. Predistribution of secret keys for all pairs of nodes is not viable due to the large amount of memory used when the network size is large. Recently, a random key predistribution scheme and its improvements have been proposed. A common assumption made by these random key predistribution schemes is that no deployment knowledge is available. Noticing that, in many practical scenarios, certain deployment knowledge may be available a priori, we propose a novel random key predistribution scheme that exploits deployment knowledge and avoids unnecessary key assignments. We show that the performance (including connectivity, memory usage, and network resilience against node capture) of sensor networks can be substantially improved with the use of our proposed scheme. The scheme and its detailed performance evaluation are presented in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-77
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Key predistribution
  • Network security
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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