Coding techniques for multi-user physical layer security

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Pierrot, Alexandre Jean Louis J.
Bloch, Matthieu R.
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The fast development of wireless networks, which are intrinsically exposed to eavesdropping, has created a growing concern for confidentiality. While classical cryptographic schemes require a key provided by the end-user, physical-layer security leverages the randomness of the physical communication medium as a source of secrecy. The main benefit of physical-layer security techniques is their relatively low cost and their ability to combine with any existing security mechanisms. This dissertation provides an analysis including the theoretical study of the two-way wiretap channel to obtain a better insight into how to design coding mechanisms, practical tests with experimental systems, and the design of actual codes. From a theoretical standpoint, the study confirms the benefits of combining several multi-user coding techniques including cooperative jamming, coded cooperative jamming and secret key generation. For these different mechanisms, the trade-off between reliability, secrecy and communication rate is clarified under a stringent strong secrecy metric. Regarding the design of practical codes, spatially coupled LDPC codes, which were originally designed for reliability, are modified to develop a coded cooperative jamming code. Finally, a proof-of-principle practical wireless system is provided to show how to implement a secret key generation system on experimental programmable radios. This testbed is then used to assess the realistic performance of such systems in terms of reliability, secrecy and rate.
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