A new 'Direction' for source location privacy in wireless sensor networks'

Shehla S. Rana, Nitin H. Vaidya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Preserving source location privacy in wireless sensor networks can be critical for several practical applications. Existing solutions proposed specifically for sensor networks rely on a combination of dynamic routing and dummy traffic to hide real event messages. While some privacy protection guarantees can be given, these solutions also tend to be expensive due to fake transmissions and non-shortest path routing overheads. In this paper, we propose a novel idea, of using a combination of directional antennas, transmit power control and information compression to provide lightweight and energy-efficient source location privacy. We discuss the adversary model extensively and then carefully layout characteristics of a realistic adversary. We show how use of directional antennas makes eavesdropping more costly for a realistic adversary and establish relationships between probability of compromise of location privacy, characteristics of directional antennas and size of the adversary's eavesdropping network. Finally, we show how a simple information compression measure can greatly reduce message latency and prolong battery life by conserving energy. Results of extensive simulations in NS2, with our realistic directional antenna add-on, show that compared to existing solutions, we can achieve comparable privacy protection, better message latency, delivery ratio and many orders of magnitude improvement in energy consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2012
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2012 - Anaheim, CA, United States
Duration: Dec 3 2012Dec 7 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM
ISSN (Print)2334-0983
ISSN (Electronic)2576-6813


Other2012 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAnaheim, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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