Communication pattern based key establishment scheme in heterogeneous wireless sensor networks

Daehee Kim, Dongwan Kim, Sunshin An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we propose a symmetric key establishment scheme for wireless sensor networks which tries to minimize the resource usage while satisfying the security requirements. This is accomplished by taking advantage of the communication pattern of wireless sensor networks and adopting heterogeneous wireless sensor networks. By considering the unique communication pattern of wireless sensor networks due to the nature of information gathering from the physical world, the number of keys to be established is minimized and, consequently, the overhead spent for establishing keys decreases. With heterogeneous wireless sensor networks, we can build a hybrid scheme where a small number of powerful nodes do more works than a large number of resource-constrained nodes to provide enhanced security service such as broadcast authentication and reduce the burden of resource-limited nodes. In addition, an on-demand key establishment scheme is introduced to support extra communications and optimize the resource usage. Our performance analysis shows that the proposed scheme is very efficient and highly scalable in terms of storage, communication and computation overhead. Furthermore, our proposed scheme not only satisfies the security requirements but also provides resilience to several attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1272
Number of pages24
JournalKSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 31

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partly supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST). (No. 2012K1A3A1A09026959).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 KSII.


  • Broadcast authentication
  • Communication pattern
  • Heterogeneous wireless sensor networks
  • Key establishment
  • On-demand
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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