On Secure Network Coding for Multiple Unicast Traffic

Gaurav Kumar Agarwal, Martina Cardone, Christina Fragouli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the problem of secure communication in a wireline noiseless scenario where a source wishes to communicate to a number of destinations in the presence of a passive external adversary. Different from the multicast scenario, where all destinations are interested in receiving the same message, in this setting different destinations are interested in different messages. The main focus of this paper is on characterizing the secure capacity region, when the adversary has unbounded computational capabilities, but limited network presence. Towards this end, an outer bound on the secure capacity region is derived, and secure transmission schemes are designed and analyzed in terms of achieved rate performance. It is first shown that, for the case of two destinations, the designed scheme matches the outer bound, hence characterizing the secure capacity region. Then, a particular class of networks referred to as two-layer networks is considered, where the source communicates with the destinations by hopping information through one layer of relays. It is shown that the designed scheme is indeed capacity achieving for any two-layer network for which one of the following three conditions is satisfied: (i) the number of destinations is three, (ii) the number of edges eavesdropped by the adversary is one, (iii) the min-cut capacities assume specific values. It is also shown that two-layer networks can be used to model and study a more general class of networks, referred to as separable. The key feature of separable networks is that they can be partitioned into edge disjoint networks that satisfy specific min-cut properties. In particular, it is proved that the secure capacity region of any separable network can be characterized from the secure capacity region of the corresponding two-layer network. Finally, for an arbitrary network topology, a two-phase scheme is designed and its rate performance is compared with the capacity-achieving scheme for networks with two destinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9039716
Pages (from-to)5204-5227
Number of pages24
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1963-2012 IEEE.


  • Network coding
  • information security
  • physical layer


Dive into the research topics of 'On Secure Network Coding for Multiple Unicast Traffic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this