Special Issue: Computer Networks and Distributed Computing

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Probabilistic Adaptive Anonymous Authentication in Vehicular Networks

Yong Xi1, Ke-Wei Sha1, Wei-Song Shi1, Loren Schwiebert1, and Tao Zhang2   

  1. 1Department of Computer Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. 2Telcordia Technologies, Inc., New Jersey, U.S.A.
  • Received:2007-10-24 Revised:2008-09-16 Online:2008-11-10 Published:2008-11-10

Vehicular networks have attracted extensive attention in recent years for their promises in improving safety and enabling other value-added services. Most previous work focuses on designing the media access and physical layer protocols. Privacy issues in vehicular systems have not been well addressed. We argue that privacy is a {\it user-specific} concept, and a good privacy protection mechanism should allow users to select the levels of privacy they wish to have. To address this requirement, we propose an adaptive anonymous authentication mechanism that can trade off the anonymity level with computational and communication overheads (resource usage). This mechanism, to our knowledge, is the first effort on adaptive anonymous authentication. The resources used by our protocol are few. A high traffic volume of 2000 vehicles per hour consumes about 60kbps bandwidth, which is less than one percent of the bandwidth of DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications). By using adaptive anonymity, the protocol response time can further be improved 2$\sim$4 times with less than 20\% bandwidth overheads.

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