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Professor P.R. Kumar 
Texas A&M University, USA

Title: Towards a theory of security for wireless networking

Abstract: In wireless networks, as in many other areas, protocols have initially been developed to provide high performance, assuming that all nodes will conform to them. However, nodes can be malicious and intent on disrupting the network. This is especially important for wireless networks since they are formed over a shared medium, especially since ad hoc networks are often specifically designed to allow all nodes to join, and potentially dangerous due to the increasing trend to use wireless networks for safety critical applications. 
    Thus is it important to develop protocols with provable guarantees of performance, taking into account that nodes can indeed be malicious. Motivated by this we develop a clean slate approach to wireless networking. This approach is model-based, and yields a complete protocol suite that provides provable guarantees of performance optimality in the presence of malicious nodes.
    This approach is in contrast to the traditional development pattern where protocols are patched as and when specific vulnerabilities are discovered, but no security guarantees are ever provided since the patched protocol may still be vulnerable to other attacks yet to be discovered.
    [Joint work with Jonathan Ponniah and Yih-Chun Hu].


    P. R. Kumar has worked on problems in game theory, adaptive control, stochastic systems, queueing networks, manufacturing systems, wafer fabrication plants, simulated annealing, machine learning, and information theory. His research is currently focused on power systems, wireless networks, and cyberphysical systems. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering of the USA, and the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by ETH, Zurich. He received the Outstanding Contribution Award of ACM SIGMOBILE, the IEEE Field Award for Control Systems, the Fred W. Ellersick Prize of the IEEE Communications Society, and the Donald P. Eckman Award of the American Automatic Control Council. He is a Fellow of IEEE. He is a D. J. Gandhi Distinguished Visiting Professor at IIT Bombay, and an Honorary Professor at IIT Hyderabad. He was a Leader of the Guest Chair Professor Group on Wireless Communication and Networking at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. He was awarded the Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Madras, and the Alumni Achievement Award from Washington University in St. Louis.

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