NeTS: Small: Collaborative Research:
Enhancing Crowdsourced Spectrum Sensing through Sybil-proof Incentives

Reference #: CNS 1717197/1717315
Sponsor: NSF CNS Core Programs
PIs: Guoliang Xue (1717197), Dejun Yang (1717315)
Duration: 10/01/2017 - 09/30/2020

Project Description: Database-driven dynamic spectrum sharing has been advocated by the Federal Communications Commission as one of the most promising methods to address the spectrum shortage and improve the spectrum utilization. In such a system, a spectrum service provider (SSP) accepts registrations from primary users and determines spectrum availability based on their use of spectrum. Secondary users interested in using the spectrum are required to contact the SSP to inquire about spectrum availability in any band of interest. Leveraging the power of crowd-sourcing, spectrum sensing becomes a key enabler for effectively improving the spectrum-estimation accuracy. In crowd-sourced spectrum sensing, an SSP outsources spectrum-sensing tasks to a large number of recruited mobile users. However, many existing incentive mechanisms for crowd-sourcing are vulnerable to Sybil attacks, where an attacker illegitimately forges multiple identities to gain benefits but degrades the performance. The goal of this project is to enhance crowd-sourced spectrum sensing by designing Sybil-proof incentive mechanisms that overcome the shortcomings of current incentive mechanisms. This project will raise awareness about the possible Sybil attacks in crowd-sourced spectrum sensing systems. The anticipated results will also break new grounds in designing incentive mechanisms for crowdsourcing-based applications. This project will engage minority students and under-represented groups. The proposed research activities will complement and enrich the growing curricula at Arizona State University and Colorado School of Mines through course development and special topic seminars.

The proposed research consists of two inter-related research thrusts. Thrust 1 concentrates on enhancing crowd-sourced spectrum sensing through Sybil-proof incentive mechanism design under a direct crowd-sourcing architecture, where mobile users communicate directly with the SSP. Upon receiving the sensing task description, each mobile user proposes a sensing plan together with a request for reward. The SSP selects the set of winning users and decides the corresponding payment to each winning seller. The winning users perform the sensing tasks and receive the corresponding rewards. Thrust 2 concentrates on enhancing crowd-sourcing through Sybil-proof incentive mechanism design under a hierarchical crowd-sourcing architecture, where mobile users contribute in both spectrum sensing and solicitation. This model subsumes the approach that won the DARPA networking challenge, but is vulnerable to Sybil attacks. The PIs will design Sybil-proof incentive mechanisms. The proposed research will be evaluated and validated via simulations and testbed experiments.