Covert Communication in Relay-Assisted IoT Systems

Chan Gao, Bin Yang, Xiaohong Jiang, Hiroshi Inamura, Masaru Fukushi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Internet of Things (IoT) systems are of paramount importance to provide ubiquitous wireless connectivity for smart cities. However, such systems are facing security challenges due to the broadcast and openness nature of wireless channels. This article studies the performance of covert communication under a scenario consisted of a source-destination pair, a passive warden, and multiple relays. We first propose two relay selection schemes, one is random selection and another is superior-link selection. Based on these two schemes, we then examine the transmission strategy design for the source and thus define the necessary condition that the source can transmit covert messages. We further derive the detection error probability of warden and covert capacity based on two relay selection schemes and also explore the covert capacity maximization through efficient numerical searches. Finally, numerical results are provided to illustrate our theoretical findings and the performance of covert communication in such systems. Remarkably, the superior-link selection scheme has 108% improved to the random selection scheme for the maximum covert capacity performance under the same transmission power at the source.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9323028
Pages (from-to)6313-6323
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number8
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Communication system security
  • covert communication
  • covert performance.
  • Internet of Things
  • IoT systems
  • relay selection
  • Relays
  • Security
  • Smart cities
  • Wireless communication
  • Wireless sensor networks


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