Physical layer security for multi-user MIMO visible light communication systems with generalized space shift keying

Nugman Su, Erdal Panayirci, Mutlu Koca, Anil Yesilkaya, H. Vincent Poor, Harald Haas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We consider the physical layer security (PLS) of multi-user (MU) multiple-input-multiple-output visible light communication (VLC) systems with an eavesdropper (Eve) and propose a novel spatial constellation design technique based on generalized space shift keying (MU-GSSK-SCD). The received signals of the legitimate users are optimized jointly, such that their bit error ratios (BERs) are minimized and Eve's BER is significantly degraded. The emission power of randomly selected light-emitting diodes is adjusted, by exploiting users' channel state information at the transmitter. Our strategy ensures that legitimate users receive confidential messages fully in an undistorted fashion, while any meaningful leakage to Eve is strongly prohibited, without any artificial noise addition. Every user can decode only its information, hence inter-user security is also guaranteed. The PLS improvements are presented in terms of both BERs and achievable secrecy rates in practical VLC scenarios. For various user configurations, it is shown that MU-GSSK-SCD increases the BER at Eve to the 0.5 level, while providing minimized BERs to the legitimate users. The achievable secrecy rate region is derived for MU-GSSK-SCD and it is shown that full secrecy can be achieved at 0 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) level with a user separation as small as 90 cm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9317699
Pages (from-to)2585-2598
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Generalized space shift keying (GSSK)
  • Multi-user communication
  • Multiple-input-multiple-output channels (MIMO)
  • Physical layer security (PLS)
  • Secrecy rate region
  • Visible light communication (VLC)


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