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Mobility, AAA, security, privacy: a unified architecture to enable real-world host and network mobility

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Panagiotis Georgopoulos
Publication date2012
Number of pages340
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Supporting the requirements of mobile networking is a very exciting and challenging task that has the potential to positively influence people's every day communication and Internet experience. The exponential increase in the number of commuters requiring Internet connectivity and a variety of services at their fingertips, on their mobile devices on-the-go, highlights the importance and attention that this problem domain requires from the research community. Host and network mobility protocols have been developed in recent years to provide constant connectivity to commuters' mobile devices, moving individually or as a group, but are yet to be widely deployed in real-world scenarios, because many requirements in this problem domain remain unresolved.

Commuters' mobile devices require quick, unobtrusive and reliable connectivity from the Wi-Fi access points they encounter as they move. Individuals require constant and secure connectivity without having to congure their devices as they
roam from one Access Network to another. Obtaining secure and authenticated
access and developing trust dynamically with the wireless Access Network they connect to is very challenging, especially due to the Access Network's own conflicting requirements. Wi-Fi Access Networks need to support Authentication,
Authorization and Accounting (AAA) for mobile devices, whilst avoiding compromising their security policies. On the other hand mobile devices have privacy concerns and they may not want to reveal their identity to the Access Network they get connectivity from.

Roaming Mobile Networks, such as the group of mobile IP devices that people carry in the bus as the bus moves, have the same and additional, even more complicated, requirements to the ones individual roaming Mobile Hosts have. The
mobile router that facilitates all the devices within the Mobile Network must ensure services' provision to them in an unobtrusive manner and avoid exhausting their resources. A vast range of problems arise when Mobile Networks interconnect to one another to proliferate connectivity, as current network mobility protocols introduce routing and tunnelling inefficiencies in the communication of these networks. In addition, the lack of dynamic trust establishment and secure data transmission for interconnected Mobile Networks, requirements of paramount importance in mobile networking, make their real-world deployment even more difficult.

This research thesis presents a Unied Architecture that facilitates the Mobility,
AAA, Security and Privacy requirements of Mobile Hosts and Mobile Networks in
an efficient and modular fashion for real-world deployments. The novelty and originality of our research is on addressing the requirements of all the parties involved in a holistic and non-conflicting manner, and allowing true mobility to be achieved in real-world scenarios. Our work contributes in the field of mobile networking by providing a AAA and Security model that allows Mobile Hosts and Mobile Networks to obtain quick, secure and constant connectivity, even in the most complex mobility topologies that can arise. In addition, the Unied Architecture provides a unique collaborative AAA and Privacy service for mobile networking deployments, that allows Access Networks to oer private but accountable connectivity, by carefully considering their AAA and security policies. Our research work also provides an original data security and trust establishment model for interconnected Mobile Networks, that opens the way for their establishment in real-world deployments.

As part of this research body of work we also developed, and present as contribution, an experimental implementation of the devised Unied Architecture, by bringing together state of the art protocol solutions and by creating implementation components that efficiently satisfy requirements in the problem domain. Finally, we thoroughly evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively the implementation of our Unied Architecture on a real live IPv6 testbed with multiple Access Network links. Our results highlight the efficiency and suitability of our approach, and demonstrate its capabilities for achieving real-world IP mobility in every day scenarios.