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Secure Advanced Integrated layer design for wireless networks

Final Activity Report Summary - SAINT-W (Secure Advanced Integrated layer design for wireless networks)

The most fundamental and important scientific achievement made in the course of this project is the establishment of cross-layer design as a concept and methodology for approaching the performance limits of wireless networks. The underlying approach leads to a reconsideration of our views in designing, architecting and controlling wireless networks. In addition, the cross-layer design concept was shown to provide significant performance benefits in terms of achievable throughput, transmission rate and energy consumption over traditionally architected wireless networks.

The aforementioned performance advantages were exemplified first for infrastructure-based wireless networks. Using advanced scheduling and resource allocation methods that combine control mechanisms over the physical, the access and higher layers, the re-integrated researcher and the involved persons demonstrated performance benefits for next generation wireless networks using advanced signalling and transmission schemes (such as OFDM) as well as advanced transceivers (such as smart and directional antennas) which provide multiples of currently achievable transmission rate. In particular, in the course of the project we proposed methods for carrier assignment, transmission power and rate control, scheduling and routing. The impact of adaptive antenna arrays on cross-layer design was studied in detail and methods were proposed for deriving advantages from joint directional beam-forming and advanced resource allocation methods at higher layers. These methods are central to future wireless network paradigms such as beyond 3G and wireless mesh networks. The impact of cross-layer design will become apparent in the next years to come, where the provisioned QoS limits will be pushed further due to stringent applications and resource-demanding services.

Next, the performance advantages of cross-layer design were shown for infrastructure-less (ad-hoc) networks and wireless sensor networks where energy consumption is the main figure of merit. Besides rate benefits, the proposed approaches led to energy-efficient cross-layer design protocols and techniques for controlling transmission power and transmission rate. They also led to novel architectural design choices for sensor networks by utilising fundamental models from information theory and digital communication theory.

Finally, cross-layer design was investigated in the context of wireless security issues. The impact of the wireless medium on vulnerability due to protocol misbehaviour and other kinds of attacks was studied. Optimal detection techniques and countermeasures were proposed against attackers that act on the wireless protocol and attackers that intentionally jam the communication channels.