Trust-based routing in pure ad-hoc wireless networks

Asad Pirzada

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    206 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] An ad-hoc network of wireless nodes is a temporarily formed network, created, operated and managed by the nodes themselves. Due to its peculiar establishment and operational properties it is also often termed an infrastructure-less, self-organised, or spontaneous network. In order to extend the communication range of the nodes, beyond a single hop, specially configured routing protocols are used. The unique feature of these protocols is their ability to form routes in spite of a dynamic topology. For effective functioning of the network it is essential that the network nodes execute the routing protocols in a truthful manner regardless of their contemporary commitments and workload. In real life, this is more than often extremely difficult to realise, and so we often find malicious nodes also present in the same network. These nodes can either join externally or may originate internally by compromising an existing benevolent node in the network. These malicious nodes can carry out an array of attacks against the routing protocols leading to route severing, unavailability of service or deception. A number of secure routing protocols, which make use of cryptographic algorithms to secure the routes, have recently been proposed. ... In order to sustain the improvised nature of ad-hoc networks, in this thesis, we have moved from the common mechanism of achieving trust via security to enforcing dependability through collaboration. We desist from the customary strategy of employing cryptography and instead use a trust model that is influenced by the human behavioural model. All nodes in the network independently execute this trust model and maintain their own assessment concerning other nodes in the network. Each node, based upon its individual experiences, rewards collaborating nodes for their benevolent behaviour and penalises malicious nodes for their malevolent conduct. To highlight the efficacy of this unique approach, we apply the trust model to three contemporary reactive routing protocols in a pure ad-hoc network. These trust reinforced routing protocols locate dependable routes in the network by observing the sincerity in participation of other nodes using a set of trust categories. The routes worked out in this way are neither protected in terms of security nor minimal in terms of hops. However, these routes traverse nodes, which have been identified as more trustworthy than others and for this reason are more dependable in extemporised circumstances. Through the help of extensive simulations, we have demonstrated that the usage of these protocols significantly improves the overall performance of the network even in the presence of a high percentage of malicious nodes. These protocols, being independent of a trust infrastructure, also enable rapid deployment and improved operation with dynamic adaptation to the current scenario. The prime advantage being gained is the ability to seamlessly integrate ad-hoc wireless networks belonging to dissimilar organisations.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2007


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