Optimal key tree structure for two-user replacement and deletion problems

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-70
Journal / PublicationJournal of Combinatorial Optimization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


We study the optimal tree structure for the key management problem. In the key tree, when two or more leaves are deleted or replaced, the updating cost is defined to be the number of encryptions needed to securely update the remaining keys. The objective is to find the optimal tree structure where the worst case updating cost is minimum. We extend the result of 1-replacement problem in Snoeyink et al. (Proceedings of the twentieth annual IEEE conference on computer communications, pp. 422-431, 2001) to the k-user case. We first show that the k-deletion problem can be solved by handling k-replacement problem. Focusing on the k-replacement problem, we show that the optimal tree can be computed in O(n(k+1)2) time given a constant k. Then we derive a tight degree bound for optimal tree when replacing two users. By investigating the maximum number of leaves that can be placed on the tree given a fixed worst case replacement cost, we prove that a balanced tree with certain root degree 5≤d≤7 where the number of leaves in the subtrees differs by at most one and each subtree is a 2-3 tree can always achieve the minimum worst case 2-replacement cost. Thus the optimal tree for two-user replacement problem can be efficiently constructed in O(n) time. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Research Area(s)

  • Key tree, Multicast cost, Optimality, Updating cost, User deletion