A Scalable Cross-Layer Framework for Distributed Trust Evaluation in Sensor Networks

Period of Performance: 06/25/2008 - 12/25/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Computer Networks & Software, Inc.
7405 Alban Station Court, B-225
Springfield, VA 22150
Principal Investigator


Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are popular due to the fact that they are potentially low cost solutions to a variety of real-world challenges. However, the unreliable communication channel and unattended operation makes security difficult and multiple attacks have been discovered. Research has gone into securing the network using efficient key distribution and management mechanisms but use of a single shared key in the WSN is not a good idea because an adversary can easily obtain the key and is processing intensive. A mission using a sensor network can be considered successful if a response to a query is obtained with a high degree of reliability. By attaching ratings to each node based on their interaction with other nodes, trust levels can be maintained based on reputation with other nodes. The trust level provides a way to categorize query-forwarding as reliable or not. We propose to develop a system that provides a trust level mechanism that effectively rates a node s interaction with its neighbors, provides a scalable solution for large-scale networks, and provides a set of ratings that are an accurate representation of the interactions between nodes in response to a query. The system can be deployed as a software/middleware solution.