Article

On the Throughput of Secure Hybrid-ARQ Protocols for Gaussian Block-Fading Channels

Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Rutgers Univ., Brunswick, NJ
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory (Impact Factor: 2.65). 01/2008; DOI: 10.1109/TIT.2009.2013043
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT The focus of this paper is an information-theoretic study of retransmission protocols for reliable packet communication under a secrecy constraint. The hybrid automatic retransmission request (HARQ) protocol is revisited for a block-fading wire-tap channel, in which two legitimate users communicate over a block-fading channel in the presence of a passive eavesdropper who intercepts the transmissions through an independent block-fading channel. In this model, the transmitter obtains a 1-bit ACK/NACK feedback from the legitimate receiver via an error-free public channel. Both reliability and confidentiality of secure HARQ protocols are studied by the joint consideration of channel coding, secrecy coding, and retransmission protocols. In particular, the error and secrecy performance of repetition time diversity (RTD) and incremental redundancy (INR) protocols are investigated based on good Wyner code sequences, which ensure that the confidential message is decoded successfully by the legitimate receiver and is kept in total ignorance by the eavesdropper for a given set of channel realizations. This paper first illustrates that there exists a good rate-compatible Wyner code family which ensures a secure INR protocol. Next, two types of outage probabilities, connection outage and secrecy outage probabilities are defined in order to characterize the tradeoff between the reliability of the legitimate communication link and the confidentiality with respect to the eavesdropper's link. For a given connection/secrecy outage probability pair, an achievable throughput of secure HARQ protocols is derived for block-fading channels. Finally, both asymptotic analysis and numerical computations demonstrate the benefits of HARQ protocols to throughput and secrecy.

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