Re-examining Probabilistic Versus Deterministic Key Management


Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT), Nice, France, p.2586-2590 (2007)


It is widely believed that although being more complex, a probabilistic key predistribution scheme is much more resilient against node capture than a deterministic one in lightweight wireless ad hoc networks. Backed up by the surprisingly large successful attack probabilities computed in this paper, we show that the probabilistic approaches have only limited performance advantages over deterministic approaches. We first consider a static network scenario as originally considered in the seminal paper by Eschenauer and Gligor [1], where any node capture happens after the establishment of all pairwise links, and show that the deterministic approach can achieve a performance as good as the probabilistic one. Furthermore in a mobile network, the probabilistic key management as described in [1] can lead to a successful attack probability of one order of magnitude larger than the one in a static network.

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