With wireless sensor networks deployed in hostile environments, there is a need for cryptographic protection to enable secure communications services. Unfortunately, many approaches developed for general networking environments do not take into account the unique features of such wireless networks. Starting with the original scheme of Eschenauer and Gligor, random key predistribution schemes have been proposed to address this challenge. Much of the work on these schemes has been carried out under the full visibility assumption whereby sensor nodes are all within communication range of each other. However, the question remains whether randomized key predistribution schemes can indeed deliver the needed security guarantees under wireless communication constraints. To explore how this partial visibility affects two basic issues, namely secure connectivity and resiliency, we study random graph models which are obtained by intersecting two random graphs, namely a communication graph (to model the communications constraints of the wireless medium) and a cryptographic graph (to capture the given predistribution scheme). Our goal is to better understand performance trade-offs and to develop guidelines for dimensioning available cryptographic, communication and computing resources.
Random key predistribution in wireless sensor networks -- The impact of partial visibility is a three-year, $413K award.