A new combinatorial design based key pre-distribution scheme for wireless sensor networks

  • Alok KumarEmail author
  • Alwyn Roshan Pais
Original Research


In this paper we present a new Combinatorial Design based Key Pre-Distribution scheme (CD-KPD). For the scheme, the network region is divided into cells of equal size and each cell has two types of sensor nodes namely, normal sensor nodes and cluster heads. Within a particular cell, normal sensor nodes can communicate with each other directly and cluster heads are used for inter-cell communication. To ensure secure communication we use CD-KPD to assign keys to all the sensor nodes including cluster heads. We further modify CD-KPD to propose Combinatorial Design based Reduced Key Pre-Distribution scheme (CD-RKPD) by reducing the number of keys stored in each cluster head. The CD-RKPD was need of the hour when we consider to limit the inter-cell communication of each cell within its Lee sphere region. We give in-detail analysis of both the proposed schemes. We measure the resiliency of both proposed schemes by calculating fraction of links disrupted and fraction of cells disconnected when few sensor nodes are compromised in the network. We found that CD-KPD and CD-RKPD outperforms (Ruj and Roy in ACM Trans Sens Netw 6(1):4, 2009) by 59 and 6.5% respectively in terms of Global Resiliency and 5 and 9.7% respectively in terms of fraction of cell disconnected in the network. Further, we found that both our proposed schemes achieves high resiliency than majority of existing schemes.


Key Pre-distribution Combinatorial design Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) Secure communication 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Akyildiz IF, Su W, Sankarasubramaniam Y, Cayirci E (2002) A survey on sensor networks. IEEE Commun Mag 40(8):102–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson I (1990) Combinatorial designs: construction methods. Ellis HorwoodGoogle Scholar
  3. Bag S (2015) A new key predistribution scheme for grid-group deployment of wireless sensor networks. Adhoc Sens Wirel Netw 27Google Scholar
  4. Bag S, Roy B (2013) A new key predistribution scheme for general and grid-group deployment of wireless sensor networks. EURASIP J Wirel Commun Netw 2013(1):145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Black PE (2006) Manhattan distance. Dict Algorithms Data Struct 18:2012Google Scholar
  6. Blackburn SR, Etzion T, Martin KM, Paterson MB (2008) Efficient key predistribution for grid-based wireless sensor networks. In: International Conference on Information Theoretic Security, Springer, pp 54–69Google Scholar
  7. Blom R (1984) An optimal class of symmetric key generation systems. In: Workshop on the Theory and Application of of Cryptographic Techniques. Springer, pp 335–338Google Scholar
  8. Bloom BH (1970) Space/time trade-offs in hash coding with allowable errors. Commun ACM 13(7):422–426CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. Blundo C, De Santis A, Herzberg A, Kutten S, Vaccaro U, Yung M (1992) Perfectly-secure key distribution for dynamic conferences. In: Annual International Cryptology Conference. Springer, pp 471–486Google Scholar
  10. Çamtepe SA, Yener B (2007) Combinatorial design of key distribution mechanisms for wireless sensor networks. IEEE/ACM Trans Netw 15(2):346–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chakrabarti D, Maitra S, Roy B (2006) A key pre-distribution scheme for wireless sensor networks: merging blocks in combinatorial design. Int J Inf Secur 5(2):105–114CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. Chan H, Perrig A, Song D (2003) Random key predistribution schemes for sensor networks. In: 2003 Symposium on Security and Privacy, 2003. Proceedings. IEEE, pp 197–213Google Scholar
  13. Cheng Y, Agrawal DP (2007) An improved key distribution mechanism for large-scale hierarchical wireless sensor networks. Ad Hoc Netw 5(1):35–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Du W, Deng J, Han YS, Varshney PK, Katz J, Khalili A (2005) A pairwise key predistribution scheme for wireless sensor networks. ACM Trans Inf Syst Secur (TISSEC) 8(2):228–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Du W, Deng J, Han YS, Varshney PK (2006) A key predistribution scheme for sensor networks using deployment knowledge. IEEE Trans Dependable Secure Comput 3(1):62–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eschenauer L, Gligor VD (2002) A key-management scheme for distributed sensor networks. In: Proceedings of the 9th ACM conference on Computer and communications security. ACM, pp 41–47Google Scholar
  17. Huang D, Medhi D (2007) Secure pairwise key establishment in large-scale sensor networks: an area partitioning and multigroup key predistribution approach. ACM Trans Sens Netw (TOSN) 3(3):16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huang D, Mehta M, Medhi D, Harn L (2004) Location-aware key management scheme for wireless sensor networks. In: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM workshop on Security of ad hoc and sensor networks, ACM, pp 29–42Google Scholar
  19. Kumar A, Pais AR (2017) En-route filtering techniques in wireless sensor networks: a survey. Wireless Pers Commun 96(1):697–739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lee J, Stinson DR (2005) A combinatorial approach to key predistribution for distributed sensor networks. In: Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, 2005 IEEE, IEEE, vol 2, pp 1200–1205Google Scholar
  21. Liu D, Ning P (2005) Improving key predistribution with deployment knowledge in static sensor networks. ACM Trans Sens Netw (TOSN) 1(2):204–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Liu D, Ning P, Li R (2005) Establishing pairwise keys in distributed sensor networks. ACM Trans Inf Syst Secur (TISSEC) 8(1):41–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mitra S, Mukhopadhyay S, Dutta R (2012) A flexible deterministic approach to key pre-distribution in grid based WSNS. In: International Conference on Ad Hoc Networks. Springer, pp 164–179Google Scholar
  24. Ruj S, Roy B (2009) Key predistribution using combinatorial designs for grid-group deployment scheme in wireless sensor networks. ACM Trans Sens Netw (TOSN) 6(1):4Google Scholar
  25. Simonova K, Ling AC, Wang XS (2006) Location-aware key predistribution scheme for wide area wireless sensor networks. In: Proceedings of the fourth ACM workshop on Security of ad hoc and sensor networks, ACM, pp 157–168Google Scholar
  26. Stinson DR (2007) Combinatorial designs: constructions and analysis. Springer, BerlinzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information Security Research Lab, Department of Computer Science and EngineeringNational Institute of Technology Karnataka-SurathkalSurathkalIndia

Personalised recommendations