Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Chunxiao Chigan


With wireless vehicular communications, Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) enable numerous applications to enhance traffic safety, traffic efficiency, and driving experience. However, VANETs also impose severe security and privacy challenges which need to be thoroughly investigated. In this dissertation, we enhance the security, privacy, and applications of VANETs, by 1) designing application-driven security and privacy solutions for VANETs, and 2) designing appealing VANET applications with proper security and privacy assurance.

First, the security and privacy challenges of VANETs with most application significance are identified and thoroughly investigated. With both theoretical novelty and realistic considerations, these security and privacy schemes are especially appealing to VANETs. Specifically, multi-hop communications in VANETs suffer from packet dropping, packet tampering, and communication failures which have not been satisfyingly tackled in literature. Thus, a lightweight reliable and faithful data packet relaying framework (LEAPER) is proposed to ensure reliable and trustworthy multi-hop communications by enhancing the cooperation of neighboring nodes. Message verification, including both content and signature verification, generally is computation-extensive and incurs severe scalability issues to each node. The resource-aware message verification (RAMV) scheme is proposed to ensure resource-aware, secure, and application-friendly message verification in VANETs.

On the other hand, to make VANETs acceptable to the privacy-sensitive users, the identity and location privacy of each node should be properly protected. To this end, a joint privacy and reputation assurance (JPRA) scheme is proposed to synergistically support privacy protection and reputation management by reconciling their inherent conflicting requirements. Besides, the privacy implications of short-time certificates are thoroughly investigated in a short-time certificates-based privacy protection (STCP2) scheme, to make privacy protection in VANETs feasible with short-time certificates.

Secondly, three novel solutions, namely VANET-based ambient ad dissemination (VAAD), general-purpose automatic survey (GPAS), and VehicleView, are proposed to support the appealing value-added applications based on VANETs. These solutions all follow practical application models, and an incentive-centered architecture is proposed for each solution to balance the conflicting requirements of the involved entities. Besides, the critical security and privacy challenges of these applications are investigated and addressed with novel solutions. Thus, with proper security and privacy assurance, these solutions show great application significance and economic potentials to VANETs.

Thus, by enhancing the security, privacy, and applications of VANETs, this dissertation fills the gap between the existing theoretic research and the realistic implementation of VANETs, facilitating the realistic deployment of VANETs.