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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Florida International University
  • Kemal Akkaya
  • (305) 348-2494
Award Date:07/31/2015
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 198,055
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 214,054
  • FY 2016=$16,000
  • FY 2013=$198,054
Start Date:06/15/2015
End Date:08/31/2017
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.070
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:TWC TTP: Small: Collaborative: Privacy-Preserving Data Collection and Access for IEEE 802.11s-Based Smart Grid Applications
Federal Award ID Number:1550313
DUNS ID:071298814
Parent DUNS ID:159621697
Program:Secure &Trustworthy Cyberspace
Program Officer:
  • David Corman
  • (703) 292-8754

Awardee Location

Street:11200 SW 8TH ST
Awardee Cong. District:26

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Florida International University
Street:10555 West Flagler Street
Cong. District:25

Abstract at Time of Award

The modernized Smart Grid (SG) is expected to enable several new applications such as dynamic pricing, demand response and fraud detection; however, collection of such fine-grained data raises privacy issues. This project aims to design and implement several novel mechanisms for securing data collection and communication in SG Advanced Metering Infrastructure applications while preserving user privacy when the data are to be accessed. The underlying communication infrastructure, namely Neighborhood Area Networks, is to be built with wireless mesh networks using the IEEE 802.11s, an IEEE 802.11 amendment for mesh networking. The project investigates user privacy preservation mechanisms using partially and fully homomorphic encryption during data collection in the Neighborhood Area Networks. For the collected data at the data repository, attribute-based access control mechanisms are studied. As part of these access control mechanisms, novel scalable key establishment and group key management schemes are investigated. A testbed consisting of IEEE 802.11 Linux routers is part of the project to assess the overhead of privacy mechanisms under quality of service constraints. The testbed will be a community resource for researchers, educators and students as well as utility companies interested in SG communications and privacy. Ensuring practical user privacy solutions will increase the participation of customers in SG applications saving cost and energy. The testbed will be a great help to utilities, researchers and educators who work on SG communications. The software and technical manuals will be made available as open-source documents. New graduate courses on the Smart Grid will be introduced into the academic curriculum.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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N. Saputro and K. Akkaya "Investigation of Smart Meter Data Reporting Strategies for Optimized Performance in Smart Grid AMI Networks" IEEE IoT Journal, v.4, 2017, p..

M. Mahmoud, J. Misic, K. Akkaya, and S. Shen "Investigating Public-Key Certificate Revocation in Smart Grid" IEEE Internet of Things Journal, v.2, 2015, p..

S. Tonyali, K. Akkaya, N. Saputro, S. Uluagac and M. Nojoumian "Privacy-preserving protocols for secure and reliable data aggregation in IoT-enabled Smart Metering systems" Elsevier Future Generation Computer Systems Journal, v.78, 2018, p..

K. Rabieh, M. Mahmoud, K. Akkaya and S. Tonyali "Scalable Certificate Revocation Schemes for Smart Grid AMI Networks Using Bloom Filters" IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, v.6, 2015, p..

K. Rabieh, M. Mahmoud, K. Akkaya and S. Tonyali "Scalable Certificate Revocation Schemes for Smart Grid AMI Networks Using Bloom Filters" IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, v.14, 2017, p.. doi:doi:10.1109/TDSC.2015.2467385 

M. M. E. A. Mahmoud and J. Mi?i? and K. Akkaya and X. Shen "Investigating Public-Key Certificate Revocation in Smart Grid" IEEE Internet of Things Journal, v.2, 2015, p.490-503. doi:10.1109/JIOT.2015.2408597 

M. Mahmoud, N. Saputro, P. Akula and K. Akkaya "Privacy-Preserving Power Injection over a Hybrid AMI/LTE Smart Grid Network" IEEE Internet of Things Journal, v.4, 2017, p..

K. Akkaya and K. Rabieh and M. Mahmoud and S. Tonyali "Customized Certificate Revocation Lists for IEEE 802.11s-Based Smart Grid AMI Networks" IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, v.6, 2015, p.2366-2374. doi:10.1109/TSG.2015.2390131 

S. Tonyali, O. Cakmak, K. Akkaya, M. Mahmoud and I. Guvenc "Secure Data Obfuscation Scheme for User Privacy and State Estimation in Smart Grid AMI Networks" IEEE Internet of Things Journal, v.3, 2016, p..

N. Saputro and K. Akkaya "PARP-S: A Piggybacking-based ARP for IEEE 802.11s-based Smart Grid AMI Networks" Elsevier Computer Communications, v.58, 2015, p..

K. Akkaya, K. Rabieh, M. Mahmoud and S. Tonyali "Customized Certificate Revocation Lists for IEEE 802.11s-based Smart Grid AMI Networks" IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, v.6, 2015, p..

Project Outcomes Report


This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

The major goal of this project was to assess the feasibility and overhead of privacy-preserving approaches on an actual Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) testbed using IEEE 802.11s mesh standard. The privacy-preserving approaches are based on partial and full homomorphic encryption (FHE)  and secure multi-party computation (SMPC) which aim to hide user fine-grained power data even from utility companies. The project also aimed to build an AMI testbed at FIU that is remotely accessible for researchers and educators.  The following are the outcomes of the project:

Outcome 1: The project demonstrated that FHE and SMPC could be implemented in an actual AMI testbed under IEEE 802.11s mesh standard by producing the necessary privacy protocols. In particular, the project was the first to develop FHE for AMI privacy. Among FHE and SMPC options, the project found out that SMPC-based privacy protocol is much more scalable than FHE in terms of bandwidth usage and average data collection/completion time. SMPC can also match the performance of partially homomorphic systems and thus can be a viable option for preserving privacy in AMI applications.

Outcome 2: The project results revelead the discrepancies between a simulation based framework (i.e., ns-3 simulator) and an actual testbed when it comes to assessing the privacy-preserving protocols in AMI. While most of the results match, there were still some metrics such as data collection time where the results were conflicting which suggests that any simulation result in AMI research might not be able to capture the realities of real-life applications.

Outcome 3: Given the resource demands of the mentioned privacy-preserving protocols, the project found that the current TCP/IP protocol stack cannot be directly used in AMI networks.  Therefore, existing TCP/IP protocol stack needs to be modified to provide scalability for AMI applications. These modifications include integrating a lightweight and reliable application level protocol such as Constrained Application Protocols (CoAP) on top of UDP,  modifying several parameters regarding ARP and MAC layer and regulating the data collection from smart meters.

Outcome 4: The project results indicated that privacy-preserving protocols for AMI can be better served by IEEE 802.11s compared to Zigbee. Zigbee has limited bandwidth which caused it fail to deliver under SMPC and FHE protocols. This also suggests that current RF bands between 800-900MHz for AMI networks may not be sufficient as future will bring advanced applications and privacy needs and thus additional higher frequency bands need to be considered under a dynamic spectrum access model.

Outcome 5: The results of the project indicated that attributed-based cryptography and linear network coding can be important means to enable firmware updates for smart meters in an AMI without needing any human intervention while consuming less bandwidth when compared to unicasting.

Outcome 6: The use of privacy mechanisms necessitate key management and public key cryptography (PKC) is more efficient in terms of its overhead compared to symmetric key cryptogrpahy. However, in case of PKC, certificate management needs to be done efficiently to reduce its impact on the  performance of privacy protocols in AMI. The project found that smart techniques such as grouping or Bloom filters can significantly eliminate their negative impacts on the performance.

Outcome 7: The project resulted in the development of a 20-node AMI testbed at FIU which is remotely accessible to researchers and educators for their experimentations. The testbed has been and will be serving as an important means to increase awareness on AMI privacy and security among  young minds including K-12 students and undergrads who can engage with the testbed via courses, senior projects, REU project, and demonstrations. 

Outcome 8: The project also encriched the curriculum of ECE department at the graduate level. The wireless aspects of the mesh protocols used in the project have been involved in PI's existing course on Ubiquitous Computing. Security and privacy aspects of the protocols and AMI testbed have been incorporated into a new graduate course on Cyber-physical Systems Security offered by the PI in Fall 2017. This course is unique in the sense that it specifically focuses on the security and privacy aspecs of control protocols, particuarly under energy cyber-physical systems. It will become part of FIU ECE's Online Network Security MS program next year.

Last Modified: 12/27/2017
Modified by: Kemal Akkaya

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