Fast roaming and security reinforcement of wireless local area networks based on prediction of user's trajectory

Juan Antonio Escalera Arredondo, University of Texas at El Paso


Wireless local area networks use radio waves to transmit information between nodes. By measuring the power level of such signals, a receiving device can estimate the distance from the sending device. In a wireless local area network, the wireless routers (i.e. access points) can estimate their distance to the user and send this estimation to a server. This server can use this information along with geometric mathematical equations to estimate the position of the user inside the wireless local area network coverage area. By storing past estimations for the position of a user, the server can predict the next position of the wireless user; this is beneficial in two main areas. First, security is reinforced as the system rotates encryption keys that generates according to the position of the user. This key rotation mechanism greatly improves the efficiency of the WEP security protocol and adds robustness to security protocols like WPA and 802.11i. This tracking mechanism also functions as a surveillance system where the positions of a wireless device are recorded for post-analysis. Second, a fast roaming mechanism is established as encryption keys are pre-assigned to both the wireless user and the access point. This previous delivery of keys avoids the initial authentication steps necessary when a user first associates with a wireless local area network thus reducing the time for a user to roam between two access points from 1.2 seconds to 130 ms on average. This is important for real time applications like Voice over wireless LAN. A network model was designed in OPNET modeler to simulate the position estimations, prediction of future positions as well as the dynamic generation and rotation of encryption keys. The model was successfully used to analyze roaming events and measure roaming times of a user. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Electronics and Electrical

Recommended Citation

Escalera Arredondo, Juan Antonio, "Fast roaming and security reinforcement of wireless local area networks based on prediction of user's trajectory" (2005). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1425901.