Journal of Network and Systems Management

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 283–299 | Cite as

Building a Quantum Network: How to Optimize Security and Expenses

  • Stefan RassEmail author
  • Angelika Wiegele
  • Peter Schartner


Quantum key distribution (QKD) is regarded as a key-technology for the upcoming decades. Its practicability has been demonstrated through various experimental implementations. Wide-area QKD networks are a natural next step and should inherit the selling point of provable security. However, most research in QKD focuses on point-to-point connections, leaving end-to-end security to the trustworthiness of intermediate repeater nodes, thus defeating any formal proof of security: why bother outwitting QKD, if the repeater node is an easy prey, and an equally valuable target? We discuss methods of designing QKD networks with provable end-to-end security at provably optimized efforts. We formulate two optimization problems, along with investigations of computational difficulty: First, what is the minimal cost for a desired security? Second, how much security is achievable under given (budget-)constraints? Both problems permit applications of commercial optimization software, so allow taking a step towards an economic implementation of a globally spanning QKD network.


Network design End-2-end security Quantum cryptography Mixed-integer programming Information-theoretic security Topological vulnerability analysis 



We thank the anonymous reviewers for valuable comments. The clarity, readability and overall contribution of the paper could be greatly improved by implementing their suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Rass
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angelika Wiegele
    • 2
  • Peter Schartner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Applied Informatics, System Security GroupUniversitaet KlagenfurtKlagenfurtAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Mathematics, Operations ResearchUniversitaet KlagenfurtKlagenfurtAustria

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