Date of Award

Winter 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical/Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Dimitrie C. Popescu

Committee Member

Chunsheng Xin

Committee Member

Jiang Li

Committee Member

Otilia Popescu


In a wireless system, transmitted electromagnetic waves can propagate in all directions and can be received by other users in the system. The signals received by unintended receivers pose two problems; increased interference causing lower system throughput or successful decoding of the information which removes secrecy of the communication. Radio frequency spectrum is a scarce resource and it is allocated by technologies already in use. As a result, many communication systems use the spectrum opportunistically whenever it is available in cognitive radio setting or use unlicensed bands. Hence, efficient use of spectrum by sharing users is crucial to increase maximize system throughput. In addition, secrecy of a wireless communication system is traditionally provided by computational complexity of cryptography techniques employed. However, cryptography systems depend on either a random secret key generation mechanism or a trusted key distribution system. Recent developments in the wireless communication area provided a solution to both key generation and distribution problem via exploiting randomness of the wireless channel unconditional to the computational complexity.

In this dissertation, we propose solutions to the problems discussed. For spectrum sharing, we present a detailed analysis of challenges of efficient spectrum sharing without a central enforcing mechanism, provide insight to already existing power control algorithms and propose a novel non-greedy power allocation algorithm. Numerical simulations show that the proposed algorithm increases system throughput more than greedy algorithms and can use available spectrum to the fullest, yet it is robust to the presence of greedy users. For secrecy, we propose a practical and fast system for random secret key generation and reconciliation. We extend the proposed system to multiple-input-multiple-output systems and increase security via role reversal of the nodes while making it quicker by pre-encoding procedure. Information theory calculation and numerical simulations demonstrates that the proposed system provides a secure channel for legitimate users in the presence of a passive eavesdropper.