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Physical Layer Security in Machine-Type Communications

Call for Papers

In the upcoming years, wireless networks will be seamless and will provide ubiquitous connectivity through the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). A key component of IoT is machine-type communication (MTC), where a large number of devices, from sensors, appliances, and vehicles up to industrial machinery, will perform sensing, monitoring, actuation, and control tasks with minimal or even no human intervention, even in health and hospital environments. MTC is inherently present in the next generation of communication systems (5G) and it contemplates a diverse range of requirements in terms of reliability, latency, data rate, and energy consumption under two main classes: massive MTC, in which the main challenge is to serve an enormous number of devices with sporadic traffic, and mission critical MTC, whose main challenge is to deliver ultrareliable low latency communications.

Communication security is a fundamental requirement for 5G and, specially, for IoT and MTC, given the wide range of commercial, industrial, and military applications. Current security techniques are mainly based on cryptographic methods employed at the upper layers of communication protocols, assuming that the eavesdropper has limited computational power. This assumption, however, is becoming an issue nowadays since computational power is ever growing. Another drawback of the current security techniques is the distribution and maintenance of encryption keys, as well as authentication procedures, which may exhaust the network resources. In the context of IoT and MTC, physical layer (PHY) security and lightweight cryptography protocols emerge as complementing solutions, opening new ways to enhance robustness and reduce the complexity of conventional approaches, regardless of the eavesdropper's computational power. The objective of this special issue is to present new results on PHY and lightweight security techniques, protocols, applications, and deployment in the context of IoT and MTC.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Physical layer security techniques in massive MTC
  • Physical layer security techniques in critical MTC
  • Fundamental aspects of PHY security in MTC
  • Covert communication solutions for massive or critical MTC
  • Cross-layer design for secure communications in IoT and MTC
  • Lightweight security techniques for IoT and MTC applications
  • Energy-driven PHY security techniques for IoT and MTC applications
  • Security in 5G and heterogeneous networks
  • Practical test beds for physical layer security or covert communications
  • Practical test beds for lightweight security protocols

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 7 September 2018
Publication DateJanuary 2019

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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