Secure and reliable clustering in wireless sensor networks: A critical survey

Péter Schaffer, Károly Farkas, Ádám Horváth, Tamás Holczer, Levente Buttyán

Research output: Short survey

42 Citations (Scopus)


In the past few years, research interest has been increased towards wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and their application in both the military and civil domains. To support scalability in WSNs and increase network lifetime, nodes are often grouped into disjoint clusters. However, secure and reliable clustering, which is critical in WSNs deployed in hostile environments, has gained modest attention so far or has been limited only to fault tolerance. In this paper, we review the state-of-the-art of clustering protocols in WSNs with special emphasis on security and reliability issues. First, we define a taxonomy of security and reliability for cluster head election and clustering in WSNs. Then, we describe and analyze the most relevant secure and reliable clustering protocols. Finally, we propose countermeasures against typical attacks and show how they improve the discussed protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2726-2741
Number of pages16
JournalComputer Networks
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - júl. 31 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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