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Concept# Communication protocol

Summary

A communication protocol is a system of rules that allows two or more entities of a communications system to transmit information via any variation of a physical quantity. The protocol defines the rules, syntax, semantics, and synchronization of communication and possible error recovery methods. Protocols may be implemented by hardware, software, or a combination of both.
Communicating systems use well-defined formats for exchanging various messages. Each message has an exact meaning intended to elicit a response from a range of possible responses pre-determined for that particular situation. The specified behavior is typically independent of how it is to be implemented. Communication protocols have to be agreed upon by the parties involved. To reach an agreement, a protocol may be developed into a technical standard. A programming language describes the same for computations, so there is a close analogy between protocols and programming languages: protocols are to communication wha

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While wired infrastructure constitutes the backbone of most wireless networks, wireless systems appeal the most to the dynamic and rapidly evolving requirements of today's communication systems because of their ease of deployment and mobility, not to mention the high cost of building a wired infrastructure. This led to an increased interest in the so called wireless ad hoc networks formed of a group of users, known as nodes, capable of communicating with each other through a shared wireless channel. Needless to say, these nodes are asked to use the shared wireless medium in the most efficient fashion, which is not an easy task given the absence of wired backbone. This requires a profound understanding of the wireless medium to establish a decentralized cooperation scheme, if needed, that best utilizes the resources available in the wireless channel. A significant part of this thesis focuses on the properties of the shared wireless channel, whereby we are interested in studying the spatial diversity and the beamforming capabilities in large wireless networks which are crucial in analyzing the throughput of ad hoc networks. In this thesis, we mainly focus on the problem of broadcasting information in the most efficient manner in a large two-dimensional ad hoc wireless network at low SNR and under line-of-sight propagation. A new communication scheme, which we call multi-stage back-and-forth beamforming, is proposed, where source nodes first broadcast their data to the entire network, despite the lack of sufficient available power. The signal's power is then reinforced via successive back-and-forth beamforming transmissions between different groups of nodes in the network, so that all nodes are able to decode the transmitted information at the end. This scheme is shown to achieve asymptotically the broadcast capacity of the network, which is expressed in terms of the largest singular value of the matrix of fading coefficients between the nodes in the network. A detailed mathematical analysis is then presented to evaluate the asymptotic behavior of this largest singular value. We further characterize the maximum achievable broadcast rate under different sparsity regimes. Our result shows that this rate depends negatively on the sparsity of the network. This is to be put in contrast with the number of degrees of freedom available in the network, which have been shown previously to increase with the sparsity of the network. In this context, we further characterize the degrees of freedom versus beamforming gain tradeoff, which reveals that high beamforming gains can only be obtained at the expense of reduced spatial degrees of freedom. Another important factor that impacts the throughput in wireless networks is the transmit/receive capability of the transceiver at the nodes. Traditionally, wireless radios are half-duplex. However, building on self-interference cancellation techniques, full-duplex radios have emerged as a viable paradigm over the recent years. In the last part of this thesis, we ask the fundamental question: how much can full-duplex help? Intuitively, one may expect that full-duplex radios can at most double the capacity of wireless networks, since they enable nodes to transmit and receive at the same time. However, we show that the capacity gain can indeed be larger than a factor of 2; in particular, we construct a specific instance of a wireless network where the the full-duplex capacity is triple the half-duplex capacity.

Shannon, in his landmark 1948 paper, developed a framework for characterizing the fundamental limits of information transmission. Among other results, he showed that reliable communication over a channel is possible at any rate below its capacity. In 2008, Arikan discovered polar codes; the only class of explicitly constructed low-complexity codes that achieve the capacity of any binary-input memoryless symmetric-output channel. Arikan's polar transform turns independent copies of a noisy channel into a collection of synthetic almost-noiseless and almost-useless channels. Polar codes are realized by sending data bits over the almost-noiseless channels and recovering them by using a low-complexity successive-cancellation (SC) decoder, at the receiver. In the first part of this thesis, we study polar codes for communications. When the underlying channel is an erasure channel, we show that almost all correlation coefficients between the erasure events of the synthetic channels decay rapidly. Hence, the sum of the erasure probabilities of the information-carrying channels is a tight estimate of the block-error probability of polar codes when used for communication over the erasure channel. We study SC list (SCL) decoding, a method for boosting the performance of short polar codes. We prove that the method has a numerically stable formulation in log-likelihood ratios. In hardware, this formulation increases the decoding throughput by 53% and reduces the decoder's size about 33%. We present empirical results on the trade-off between the length of the CRC and the performance gains in a CRC-aided version of the list decoder. We also make numerical comparisons of the performance of long polar codes under SC decoding with that of short polar codes under SCL decoding. Shannon's framework also quantifies the secrecy of communications. Wyner, in 1975, proposed a model for communications in the presence of an eavesdropper. It was shown that, at rates below the secrecy capacity, there exist reliable communication schemes in which the amount of information leaked to the eavesdropper decays exponentially in the block-length of the code. In the second part of this thesis, we study the rate of this decay. We derive the exact exponential decay rate of the ensemble-average of the information leaked to the eavesdropper in Wyner's model when a randomly constructed code is used for secure communications. For codes sampled from the ensemble of i.i.d. random codes, we show that the previously known lower bound to the exponent is exact. Our ensemble-optimal exponent for random constant-composition codes improves the lower bound extant in the literature. Finally, we show that random linear codes have the same secrecy power as i.i.d. random codes. The key to securing messages against an eavesdropper is to exploit the randomness of her communication channel so that the statistics of her observation resembles that of a pure noise process for any sent message. We study the effect of feedback on this approximation and show that it does not reduce the minimum entropy rate required to approximate a given process. However, we give examples where variable-length schemes achieve much larger exponents in this approximation in the presence of feedback than the exponents in systems without feedback. Upper-bounding the best exponent that block codes attain, we conclude that variable-length coding is necessary for achieving the improved exponents.

In our daily lives, people or devices frequently need to learn their location for many reasons as some services depend on the absolute location or the proximity. The outcomes of positioning systems can have critical effects e.g., on military, emergency. Thus, the security of these systems is quite important. In this thesis, we concentrate on many security aspects of position in cryptography.
The first part of this thesis focuses on the theory of distance bounding. A distance bounding protocol is a two-party authentication protocol between a prover and a verifier which considers the distance of the prover as a part of his/her credential. It aims to defeat threats by malicious provers who try to convince that they are closer to the verifier or adversaries which seek to impersonate a far-away prover. In this direction, we first study the optimal security bounds that a distance bounding protocol can achieve. We consider the optimal security bounds when we add some random delays in the distance computation and let the prover involve distance computation. Then, we focus on solving the efficiency problem of public-key distance bounding because the public-key cryptography requires much more computations than the symmetric-key cryptography. We construct two generic protocols (one without privacy, one with) which require fewer computations on the prover side compared to the existing protocols while keeping the highest security level. Then, we describe a new security model involving a tamper-resistant hardware. This model is called the secure hardware model (SHM). We define an all-in-one security model which covers all the threats of distance bounding and an appropriate privacy notion for SHM.
The second part of this thesis is to fill the gap between the distance bounding and its real-world applications. We first consider contactless access control. We define an integrated security and privacy model for access control using distance bounding (DB) to defeat relay attacks. We show how a secure DB protocol can be converted to a secure contactless access control protocol. Regarding privacy (i.e., keeping anonymity in a strong sense to an active adversary), we show that the conversion does not always preserve privacy, but it is possible to study it on a case by case basis.
Then, we consider contactless payment systems. We design an adversarial model
and define formally the contactless payment security against malicious cards and malicious terminals. Accordingly, we design a contactless payment protocol and show its security in our security model.
The last part of this thesis focuses on positioning. We consider two problems related to positioning systems: localization and proof of location. In localization, a user aims to find its position by using a wireless network. In proof of location, a user wants to prove his/her position e.g., to have access to a system or authorize itself. We first formally define the problem of localization and construct a formal security model. We describe algorithms and protocols for localization which are secure in our model. Proof of location has been considered formally by Chandran et al. in CRYPTO 2009 and it was proved that achieving security is not possible in the vanilla model. By integrating the localization and the secure hardware model, we obtain a model where we can achieve proof of location.