Publication - Key Generation @ University of Liverpool


University of Liverpool has been one of the leading institutions worldwide in the area of key generation from wireless channels. We have carried out systematic research to investigate different aspects of this exciting technique, ranging from theoretical modelling, simulation, and experimental validations. This page summarizes our key generation publication.

Please find a Poster that summarizes our work.

Key Generation Survey

  1. Junqing Zhang, Guyue Li, Alan Marshall, Aiqun Hu, and Lajos Hanzo, “A New Frontier for IoT Security Emerging From Three Decades of Key Generation Relying on Wireless Channels,” IEEE Access, vol. 8, pp. 138406 - 138446, 2020. link
  2. Guyue Li, Chen Sun, Junqing Zhang, Eduard Jorswieck, Bin Xiao, Aiqun Hu, “Physical Layer Key Generation in 5G and Beyond Wireless Communications: Challenges and Opportunities,” Entropy, 2019
  3. Junqing Zhang, Sekhar Rajendran, Zhi Sun, Roger Woods, and Lajos Hanzo, “Physical Layer Security for the Internet of Things: Authentication and Key Generation,” IEEE Wireless Communications, 2019
    • This paper gives a tutorial on the radio frequency fingerprinting identification and key generation, in order to achieve the user identify authentication and secure communications, respectively. An integrated security framework is proposed by combining these two techniques.
  4. Junqing Zhang, Trung Q. Duong, Alan Marshall, and Roger Woods, “Key generation from wireless channels: A review,” IEEE Access, vol. 4, pp. 614- 626, Mar. 2016. Open Access. link
    • This paper presents a comprehensive survey on the key generation, covering the key generation fundamental, principle, procedures, evaluation metrics, applications.
  5. Junqing Zhang, Trung Q. Duong, Roger Woods, and Alan Marshall, “Securing wireless communications of the Internet of Things from the physical layer, An overview,” Entropy, vol. 19, no. 8, 420, 2017. (Invited Paper) link
    • This paper provides a tutorial for the key generation and physical layer encryption.

Key Generation Principle

  1. Junqing Zhang, Biao He, Trung Q. Duong, and Roger Woods, “On the key generation from correlated wireless channels,” IEEE Communications Letters, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 961 — 964, Apr. 2017. link
    • This paper investigates key generation principles with a practical channel model. The secret key capacity is derived.
    • Simulation study
  2. Junqing Zhang, Roger Woods, Trung Q. Duong, Alan Marshall, Yuan Ding, Yi Huang, and Qian Xu, “Experimental study on key generation for physical layer security in wireless communications,” IEEE Access, vol. 4, pp. 4464 – 4477, Sept. 2016. Open Access. link
    • This paper carries out comprehensive experimental studies on the key generation principles, including temporal variation, channel reciprocity, and spatial decorrelation. The experiments were carried out in the anechoic chamber, reverberation chamber, and indoor office environments.
  3. Junqing Zhang, Roger Woods, Trung Q. Duong, Alan Marshall, and Yuan Ding, “Experimental study on channel reciprocity in wireless key generation,” in Proc. 17th IEEE International Workshop on Signal Processing Advances in Wireless Communications Special Session on Physical Layer Security for 5G, Edinburgh, UK, Jul. 2016 (Invited Paper). link
    • This paper investigates channel reciprocity by an innovative experiment design. Two WARP boards were connected by a power splitter, which enabled analyzing effects of noise and non-simultaneous sampling.
    • Experimental study
  4. Junqing Zhang, Alan Marshall, Roger Woods, and Trung Q. Duong, “Efficient key generation by exploiting randomness from channel responses of individual OFDM subcarriers,” IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 64, no. 6, pp. 2578 – 2588, Jun. 2016. Open Access. link
    • This paper studies the key generation application in OFDM systems. The temporal and frequency correlation is modelled. The channel reciprocity of subcarrier response is also modelled.
    • Simulation study

Key Generation Application

  1. Tianyu Lu, Liquan Chen, Junqing Zhang, Kailin Cao, and Aiqun Hu, “Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface Assisted Secret Key Generation in Quasi-Static Environments,” IEEE Communications Letters, accepted.
  2. Xinwei Zhang, Guyue Li, Junqing Zhang, Aiqun Hu, Zongyue Zou and Bin Xiao, “Deep Learning-based Physical-Layer Secret Key Generation for FDD Systems,” IEEE Internet of Things Journal, accepted.
  3. Guyue Li, Chen Sun, Eduard Jorswieck, Junqing Zhang, Aiqun Hu, and You Chen, “Sum Secret Key Rate Maximization for TDD Multi-User Massive MIMO Wireless Networks,” IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, vol. 16, pp. 968 - 982, 2020. link
  4. Guyue Li, Zheying Zhang, Junqing Zhang, and Aiqun Hu, “Encrypting Wireless Communications On the Fly Using OneTime Pad and Key Generation,” IEEE Internet of Things Journal, accepted. link
  5. Henri Ruotsalainen, Junqing Zhang, and Stepan Grebeniuk, “Experimental Investigation on Wireless Key Generation for Low Power Wide Area Networks,” IEEE Internet of Things Journal, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 1745 - 1755, Mar. 2020. link
    • This paper studies the key generation application for LoRa/LoRaWAN.
  6. Junqing Zhang, Ming Ding, David Lopez-Perez, Alan Marshall, and Lajos Hanzo, “Design of an Efficient OFDMA-Based Multi-User Key Generation Protocol,” IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 68, no. 9, pp. 8842 - 8852, Sept. 2019. link
  7. Lining Peng, Guyue Li, Junqing Zhang, Roger Woods, Ming Liu, and Aiqun Hu, “An investigation of using loop-back mechanism for channel reciprocity enhancement in secret key generation,” IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 507 – 519, Mar. 2019. link
  8. Junqing Zhang, Alan Marshall, and Lajos Hanzo, “Channel-envelope differencing eliminates secret key correlation: LoRa-based key generation in low power wide area networks,” IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 67, no. 12, pp. 12462-12466, Dec., 2018. link
    • This paper investigates key generation applied in long range communications, by taking LoRa as a case study.
    • Experimental study
  9. Guyue Li, Aiqun Hu, Chen Sun and Junqing Zhang, “Constructing reciprocal channel coefficients for secret key generation in FDD systems,” IEEE Communications Letters, vol. 22, no. 12, pp. 2487 – 2490, Dec., 2018. link
    • Key generation relies on channel reciprocity, which does not hold in FDD systems. This paper constructs correlated parameters which can be used for key generation.
    • Simulation study
  10. Guyue Li, Aiqun Hu, Junqing Zhang, Linning Peng, Chen Sun, and Daming Cao, “High-agreement uncorrelated secret key generation based on principal component analysis preprocessing,” IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 66, no. 7, pp. 3022 – 3034, Jul. 2018. link
  11. Yuan Ding, Junqing Zhang, and Vincent Fusco, “Retrodirective assisted secure wireless key establishment,” IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 320 – 334, Jan. 2017. Open Access. link
    • This paper designed key generation with retrodirective array, which acts as the relay node.
    • Simulation study