A Game Theoretic Analysis of Secret and Reliable Communication with Active and Passive Adversarial Modes

Andrey Garnaev, Melike Baykal-Gursoy, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Secret and reliable communication presents a challenge involving a double dilemma for a user and an adversary. One challenge for the adversary is to decide between jamming and eavesdropping. While jamming can be quite effective in preventing reliable communication of the user, it can also be quite harmful for the adversary since he/she can be detected. On the other hand, eavesdropping is quite safe for the adversary; however, it sometimes may not be so efficient compared to jamming, if the adversary cannot respond to the information gleaned from eavesdropping in a timely manner. The user can either transmit, thus becoming vulnerable to malicious activity, or be in a silent mode in turn delaying his/her transmission. However, by combining these modes properly the user can assist an intruder detection system in detecting the adversary, since transmission can provoke the adversary into a jamming attack, and a strategically allocated silent mode while the jammer continues jamming can increase the probability of detecting the adversary. In this paper, to get insight into this problem, two simple stochastic games are proposed. Explicit solutions are found that lead to the characterization of some interesting properties. In particular, it is shown that under certain conditions, incorporating in the transmission protocol a time slot dealing just with the detection of malicious threats can improve the secrecy and reliability of the communication without extra transmission delay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7322276
Pages (from-to)2155-2163
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Jamming
  • eavesdropping
  • secret communication
  • stationary strategies
  • stochastic games


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