Dynamic spectrum access (DSA) technique enables wireless devices, which is called secondary users (SUs), to use spectrum that are allocated to licensed incumbent users (IUs) as long as they do not interfere with IUs' operation. It has been widely accepted as a crucial solution to mitigate the spectrum scarcity problem for wireless communications. As a key form of DSA, US government has proposed to release more Federal spectrum for sharing with commercial wireless users. It has also recommended a spectrum access system (SAS) database to govern the spectrum sharing between IUs and SUs. However, the flourish of SAS-driven Federal-Commercial sharing hinges upon how privacy issues are managed. In current SAS schemes, the operation data of both federal IUs and commercial SUs need to be shared with the SAS database for it to decide if sharing is permitted. Yet, operation data of federal IUs are often classified information and SU operation data may also be commercial secret. Since SAS is not necessarily operated by a trusted third party and can potentially be breached by attackers, these current schemes threaten the privacy of both IUs and SUs. To address this privacy issue, this project will develop a privacy-preserving SAS (P2-SAS), which ensures that the SAS system can still accurately decide whether spectrum sharing among IUs and SUs are permitted while it learns nothing about the operation data of IUs and SUs. This project is the first to be able to successfully realize privacy-preserving spectrum allocation in SAS. It will address regulators concerns with DSA s privacy issue and hence greatly help the development of the entire nation's broadband networks. The project will also provide a blueprint on how privacy-preserving mechanisms can be integrated in many other communication systems beyond DSA. The project realizes its privacy preserving spectrum allocation using secure homomorphic computation. In P2-SAS, IUs and SUs share only ciphertexts of their operation data with the SAS Server. SAS Server then performs secure homomorphic computation directly over these ciphertexts, so that none of the IU/SU operation data would be exposed to any snooping party, including the SAS itself. The project is able to convert complex spectrum allocation computation and certification procedures into the limited homomorphic computation types provided by efficient Paillier cryptosystems. Leveraging the unique characteristics of spectrum allocation computation, various refining techniques are explored to significantly reduce the computation and communication overhead of P2-SAS and prevent potential attacks on the system.

Major Personnel

  1. Yaling Yang (faculty, Virginia Tech)
  2. Yanzhi Dou (Ph.D., VT)
  3. He Li (Ph.D., VT)
  4. Yousi Lin (Ph.D., VT)
  5. Yuxian Ye (MS, VT)
  6. Qiu, Peiwen (MS, VT)
  7. Javad Touranpos (Ph.D., VT )
  8. Hanchao Yang, (Ph.D., VT )
  9. Douglas Zabransky (MS, VT)
  10. Devashree Kulkarni (ME, VT)
  11. Kapil Kale (ME, VT)
  12. Kexiong (Curtis) Zeng

Related Publications

  1. Ali Hosseini-Fahraji, Pedram Loghmannia, Kexiong Zeng, Xiaofan Li, Sihan Yu, Sihao Sun, Dong Wang, Yaling Yang, Majid Manteghi, and Lei Zuo "Energy Harvesting Long-Range Marine Communication'', Infocom 2020
  2. Yousi Lin, Yuxian Ye, Yaling Yang, "Crowdsourcing-based Spectrum Monitoring at A Large Geographical Scale'', Dyspan 2019
  3. Yousi Lin, Yuxian Ye, Yaling Yang , "Preserving Incumbent User's Location Privacy Against Environmental Sensing Capability'' , Dyspan 2019
  4. He Li, Yaling Yang, Yanzhi Dou, Jung-Min (Jerry) Park, Kui Ren, "PeDSS: Privacy Enhanced and Database-Driven Dynamic spectrum Sharing", Infocom 2019
  5. He Li, Yaling Yang, Yanzhi Dou, Chang Lu, and Doug Zabransky, "Comparison of incumbent user privacy preserving technologies in database driven dynamic spectrum access systems", Crowncom, 2018
  6. Douglas Zabransky, He Li, Chang Lu, Yaling Yang, "SZ-SAS: A Framework for Preserving Incumbent User Privacy in SAS-based DSA Systems", Crowncom, 2018
  7. He Li, Yanzhi Dou, Chang Lu, Doug Zabransky, Yaling Yang, Jung-min Park, "Preserving the Incumbent Users' Location Privacy in the 3.5 GHz Band", DySPAN, 2018
  8. Kexiong (Curtis) Zeng, Shinan Liu, Yuanchao Shu, Dong Wang, Haoyu Li, Yanzhi Dou, Gang Wang, and Yaling Yang. "All Your GPS Are Belong To Us: Towards Stealthy Manipulation of Road Navigation Systems'', USENIX Security 2018: the 27th USENIX Security Symposium, August 2018.
  9. Chaowen Guan, Aziz Mohaisen, Zhi Sun, Fei Wei, Lu Su, Kui Ren and Yaling Yang, "When Smart TV Meets CRN: Privacy-preserving Fine-grained Spectrum Access'', IEEE ICDCS, 2017
  10. Yanzhi Dou, He Li, Kexiong Zeng, Jinshan Liu, Yaling Yang, Bo Gao and Kui Ren. "Preserving Incumbent Users Privacy in Exclusion-Zone-Based Spectrum Access Systems.'', IEEE ICDCS, 2017.
  11. Kexiong (Curtis) Zeng, Yuanchao Shu, Shinan Liu, Yanzhi Dou, Yaling Yang, "A Practical GPS Location Spoofing Attack in Road Navigation Scenario'' . ACM HotMobile, 2017
  12. Yanzhi Dou, Kexiong (Curtis) Zeng, He Li, Yaling Yang, Bo Gao, Chaowen Guan and Shaoqian Li , "P2-SAS: Privacy-Preserving Centralized Dynamic Spectrum Access System'', IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, v 35, n 1, p 173-187, 2017
  13. Yanzhi Dou, Kexiong (Curtis) Zeng, Yaling Yang, and Kui Ren. "Poster: Preserving Incumbent Users' Privacy in Exclusion-Zone-Based Spectrum Access Systems'',ACM MobiCom 2016,
  14. Yanzhi Dou, Kexiong (Curtis) Zeng, He Li, Yaling Yang, Bo Gao, Chaowen Guan and Shaoqian Li. "P2-SAS: Preserving Users' Privacy in Centralized Dynamic Spectrum Access Systems'', ACM MobiHoc 2016
  15. Yanzhi Dou, He Li, Kexiong (Curtis) Zeng, Jinshan Liu, Yaling Yang, Bo Gao and Shaoqian Li. "Preserving Incumbent Users' Privacy in Server-Driven Dynamic Spectrum Access Systems'', IEEE ICDCS, 2016
  16. Bo Gao, Sudeep Bhattarai, Jungmin Park, Yaling Yang, Min Liu, Kexiong Zeng, and Yanzhi Dou. "Incentivizing Spectrum Sensing in Database-Driven Dynamic Spectrum Sharing'', IEEE INFOCOM, 2016.

Broader Impact

A better allocation and management of spectrum is clearly the only viable solution for overcoming the severe spectrum shortage problem. Thus, federal and commercial systems must share their spectrum using DSA in the coming decade. However, such systems give rise to many new spectrum assurance and privacy issues. Thus, regulators and potential SU/IU operators will not be willing to adopt such a flexible sharing of the radio spectrum unless these issues are adequately addressed. Research results from this project will provide valuable solutions for addressing such concerns and hence greatly help the development of the entire nation's broadband networks. The developed techniques will provide a blueprint on how privacy-preserving mechanisms can be integrated in many other communication systems beyond DSA. Resource allocation is an important area for networking system design. Our work marks the first step in bringing privacy-preserving designs into this domain. Beyond spectrum allocation, it can potentially spark privacy-preserving designs for computation resource allocation, storage resource allocation, task allocation, power allocation, work load allocation, and other type of common resource allocation problems in networking systems

Education Activities

CESCA day 2019 has been successfully held on April 27, 2019 in Claytor Lake State Park's meeting facility. As a student centered all-day event, 45 graduate students in Virginia Tech participated to exchange research ideas and receive faculty advices and training on presentation skills, especially elevator talks and poster talks. Detailed feedback about student presentation skills were given to the participating students by 8 faculty judges. The event also invited Dr. Michael Henry, the founder of a promising start-up company Mythic, Inc., to give a talk about his company's products and discuss with the audiences about how to navigate in the world of entrepreneurship.