Wireless Physical Layer Security with CSIT Uncertainty

  • Amal Hyadi

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Recent years have been marked by an enormous growth of wireless communication networks and an extensive use of wireless applications. In return, this phenomenal expansion induced more concerns about the privacy and the security of the users. Physical layer security is one of the most promising solutions that were proposed to enhance the security of next generation wireless systems. The fundamental idea behind this technique is to exploit the randomness and the fluctuations of the wireless channel to achieve security without conditional assumptions on the computational capabilities of the eavesdropper. In fact, while these elements have traditionally been associated with signal deterioration, physical layer security uses them to ensure the confidentiality of the users. Nevertheless, these technical virtues rely heavily on perhaps idealistic channel state information assumptions. In that regard, the aim of this thesis is to look at the physical layer security paradigm from the channel uncertainty perspective. In particular, we discuss the ergodic secrecy capacity of different wiretap channels when the transmitter is hampered by the imperfect knowledge of the channel state information (CSI). We consider two prevalent causes of uncertainty for the CSI at transmitter (CSIT); either an error of estimation occurs at the transmitter and he can only base his coding and the transmission strategies on a noisy version of the CSI, or the CSI feedback link has a limited capacity and the legitimate receivers can only inform the transmitter about the quantized CSI. We investigate both the single-user multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wiretap channel and the multi-user broadcast wiretap channel. In the latter scenario, we distinguish between two situations: multiple messages transmission and common message transmission. We also discuss the broadcast channel with confidential messages (BCCM) where the transmitter has one common message to be transmitted to two users and one secret message intended to only one of them. In all cases, we show that by appropriately designing the coding and the transmission schemes, a secure communication can still be achieved even with an imperfect knowledge of the CSIT.
Date of AwardSep 2017
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorMohamed-Slim Alouini (Supervisor)


  • Physical Layer Security
  • Channel Uncertainty
  • Information theory

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