Communications & Security

Communication networks, hardware, information theory and security

Communication systems research is one of ISR's foundational areas of inquiry. ISR’s best-known research breakthrough may be the algorithms and protocols by which internet services can be delivered over satellite, using a high-speed, two-way connection through low-earth-orbit satellites. In addition, high quality joint source-channel coding of images and related modem technologies were developed for voice and data. Modeling, analytic and formal models for cross-layer design of wireless network and mobile ad-hoc network protocols have been developed using a component-based, model-based systems engineering approach. A systems perspective inspired by control and communications theory and methods has brought security to wireless networks beyond traditional cryptographic methods. Current work spans integrated security from the physical layer—hardware and signal processing—to protocols, applications and human users.

Recent ISR communications and security publications


On the Optimality of the Whittle’s Index Policy for Minimizing the Age of Information

Ali Maatouk, Saad Kriouile, Mohamad Assaad, Tony Ephremides

The authors prove that the Whittle’s index policy is age-optimal for the general asymmetrical case in the burgeoning many-users regime of Internet of Things interconnected devices.


Bandwidth Partition and Allocation for Efficient Spectrum Utilization in Cognitive Communications

Song Huang, Di Yuan, Anthony Ephremides

This article related to spectrum scarcity studies bandwidth partition and allocation to optimize spectrum utilitzation in cognitive communications under the interweave paradigm.

IEEE Journal of Communications & Networks


Multi-Corpus Acoustic-to-Articulatory Speech Inversion

Nadee Seneviratne, Ganesh Sivaraman, Carol Espy-Wilson

This paper proposes a multi-corpus speech inversion system for automatic speech recognition, pronounciation training and speech therapy.

Interspeech 2019

Assessing Neuromotor Coordination in Depression Using Inverted Vocal Tract Variables

Carol Espy-Wilson, Adam Lammert, Nadee Seneviratne, Thomas Quatieri

A new articulary inversion process provides a potentially powerful way of detecting depression based on speech patterns.

Interspeech 2019

Multi-modal learning for speech emotion recognition: An analysis and comparison of ASR outputs with ground truth transcription

Saurabh Sahu, Vikramjit Mitra, Nadee Seneviratne, Carol Espy-Wilson

The paper leverages multi-modal learning and automated speech recognition (ASR) systems toward building a speech-only emotion recognition model.

Interspeech 2019


VoltJockey: Breaking SGX by Software-Controlled Voltage-Induced Hardware Faults

Pengfei Qiu, Dongsheng Wang, Yongqiang Lyu, Gang Qu

Intel software-guard extensions (SGX) allows applications to run in a trusted space (enclave), which provides a highly secure primitive for the running codes and data. The authors propose the first fault injection attack to break SGX by using voltage-induced hardware faults.


VoltJockey: Breaching TrustZone by Software-ControlledVoltage Manipulation over Multi-Core Frequencies

Pengfei Qiu, Dongsheng Wang, Yongqiang Lyu, Gang Qu

VoltJockey is an innovative software-controlled, hardware fault-based attack on multi-core processors that adopt dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) techniques for energy efficiency.

Proceedings of the 2019 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security

Physical Unclonable Function-based Key Sharing via Machine Leaning for IoT Security

Jiliang Zhang, Gang Qu

In many Industry Internet of Things (IIoT) applications, resources like CPU, memory, and battery power are limited and cannot afford the classic cryptographic security solutions. Silicon Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) is a lightweight security primitive that exploits manufacturing variations during the chip fabrication process for key generation and/or device authentication. The paper proposes a PUF-based key sharing method for the first time.

IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics

LEAP: A Lightweight Encryption and Authentication Protocol for In-Vehicle Communications

Zhaojun Lu, Qian Wang, Xi Chen, Gang Qu, Yongqiang Lyu, Zhenglin Liu

Controller Area Network is standard for in-vehicle communications, but attackers can compromise to remotely control vehicles. The researchers have developed a low-cost, high-efficiency encryption and authentication protocol to improve security.

Pass and Run: A Privacy Preserving Delay Tolerant Network Communication Protocol for CyberVehicles

Zhaojun Lu, Zhenglin Liu, Carson Dunbar, Mingze Gao, Gang Qu

This paper on intelligent transportation systems proposes pass and run protocol for vehicular delay tolerant networks to address vehicle location privacy in communicating with roadside units.

IEEE Design & Test



Hardware-Software Co-Design Based Obfuscation of Hardware Accelerators

Abhishek Chakraborty and Ankur Srivastava

Paper on hardware-software co-design based obfuscation of hardware accelerators proposes hardware-software co-design based obfuscation approach to render unactivated accelerator chip functionally useless.

IEEE Annual Symposium on VLSI 2019

Energy-efficient Design of MTJ-based Neural Networks with Stochastic Computing

Ankit Mondal, Ankur Srivastava

The research proposes the use of magnetic tunnel junctions as stochastic number generators in an SC-based hardware implementation of neural networks. The proposed algorithm brings about a 40% reduction in energy consumption with less than 1% accuracy loss on the 2-layer MNIST network.

ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems

Keynote: A Disquisition on Logic Locking

Abhishek Chakraborty, Nithyashankari Gummidipoondi Jayasankaran, Yuntao Liu, Jeyavijayan Rajendran, Ozgur Sinanoglu, Ankur Srivastava, Yang Xie, Muhammad Yasin, Michael Zuzak

A survey of the evolution of logic locking and a primer for researchers interested in developing novel techniques in new domains. The authors introduce various “cat and mouse” games involved in logic locking along with its novel applications—including, processor pipelines, graphics-processing units, and analog circuits.

IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems




Optimal Selective Encoding for Timely Updates

Melih Bastopcu, Baturalp Buyukates, Sennur Ulukus

The researchers consider a status updating system in which an information source generates independent and identically distributed update packets based on an observed random variable X which takes n values based on a known probability mass function (pmf). The proposed selective policy achieves a lower average age than encoding all the realizations and determine the age-optimal k values for arbitrary pmfs.

Scaling Laws for Age of Information in Wireless Networks

Baturalp Buyukates, Alkan Soysal, Sennur Ulukus

A study of age of information in a multiple source-multiple destination setting with a focus on its scaling in large wireless networks.

Private Set Intersection: A Multi-Message Symmetric Private Information Retrieval Perspective

Zhusheng Wang, Karim Banawan, Sennur Ulukus

An information theoretic approach to the Private Set Intersection (PSI) problem shows that it can be successfully recast as a multi-message symmetric private information retrieval (MM-SPIR) problem with message size 1.


Age of Information for Updates with Distortion: Constant and Age-Dependent Distortion Constraints

Melih Bastopcu, Sennur Ulukus

The authors design an information update system that strikes a desired balance between information quality and freshness by solving for the optimum update scheme subject to a desired distortion level.

Timely Distributed Computation with Stragglers

Baturalp Buyukates, Sennur Ulukus

Investigates the age performance of uncoded and coded computation distribution algorithms and shows that a minimum data set-coded task distribution scheme asymptotically outperforms uncoded and repetition coded schemes.

Secure Degrees of Freedom in Networks with User Misbehavior

Karim Banawan, Sennur Ulukus

Explores the secure degrees of freedom of three new channel models: broadcast channel with combating helper, interference channel with selfish users, and multiple-access wiretap channel with deviating users. The paper investigates various malicious interactions that arise in networks, including active adversaries, and proves that a deviating user can drive the secure degrees of freedom to zero. However, the remaining users can exploit the intentional jamming signals as cooperative jamming signals against the eavesdropper and achieve an optimum secure degrees of freedom.


ISR communications and security news