Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Linke Guo, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Daniel Noneaker

Committee Member

Dr. Harlan Russell

Committee Member

Dr. Long Cheng


The increasing deployment of wireless devices has connected humans and objects all around the world, benefiting our daily life and the entire society in many aspects. Achieving those connectivity motivates the emergence of different types of paradigms, such as cellular networks, large-scale Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive networks, etc. Among these networks, enabling reliable and secure data transmission requires various resources including spectrum, energy, and computational capability. However, these resources are usually limited in many scenarios, especially when the number of devices is considerably large, bringing catastrophic consequences to data transmission. For example, given the fact that most of IoT devices have limited computational abilities and inadequate security protocols, data transmission is vulnerable to various attacks such as eavesdropping and replay attacks, for which traditional security approaches are unable to address. On the other hand, in the cellular network, the ever-increasing data traffic has exacerbated the depletion of spectrum along with the energy consumption. As a result, mobile users experience significant congestion and delays when they request data from the cellular service provider, especially in many crowded areas.

In this dissertation, we target on reliable and secure data transmission in resource-constrained emerging networks. The first two works investigate new security challenges in the current heterogeneous IoT environment, and then provide certain countermeasures for reliable data communication. To be specific, we identify a new physical-layer attack, the signal emulation attack, in the heterogeneous environment, such as smart home IoT. To defend against the attack, we propose two defense strategies with the help of a commonly found wireless device. In addition, to enable secure data transmission in large-scale IoT network, e.g., the industrial IoT, we apply the amply-and-forward cooperative communication to increase the secrecy capacity by incentivizing relay IoT devices. Besides security concerns in IoT network, we seek data traffic alleviation approaches to achieve reliable and energy-efficient data transmission for a group of users in the cellular network. The concept of mobile participation is introduced to assist data offloading from the base station to users in the group by leveraging the mobility of users and the social features among a group of users. Following with that, we deploy device-to-device data offloading within the group to achieve the energy efficiency at the user side while adapting to their increasing traffic demands. In the end, we consider a perpendicular topic - dynamic spectrum access (DSA) - to alleviate the spectrum scarcity issue in cognitive radio network, where the spectrum resource is limited to users. Specifically, we focus on the security concerns and further propose two physical-layer schemes to prevent spectrum misuse in DSA in both additive white Gaussian noise and fading environments.



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