Distributed Inference with M-Ary Quantized Data in the Presence of Byzantine Attacks


The problem of distributed inference with M-ary quantized data at the sensors is investigated in the presence of Byzantine attacks. We assume that the Byzantine nodes attack the inference network by modifying the symbol corresponding to the quantized data to one of the other symbols in the quantization alphabet-set and transmitting falsified symbol to the fusion center (FC). In this paper, we find the optimal Byzantine attack that blinds any distributed inference network. As the quantization alphabet size increases, a tremendous improvement in the security performance of the distributed inference network is observed. In addition to the perfect channel case, in Appendix A, we also analyze the optimal Byzantine attack when the channel between the nodes and the FC is noisy and is modelled as a discrete M-ary channel. We also investigate the optimal attack within the restricted space of highly-symmetric attack strategies, that maximally degrades the performance of the inference network in the presence of resource-constrained Byzantine attacks. A reputation-based scheme for identifying malicious nodes is also presented as the network's strategy to mitigate the impact of Byzantine threats on the inference performance of the distributed sensor network. We also provide asymptotic analysis to find the optimal reputation-based scheme as a function of the fraction of compromised nodes in the network.


Computer Science

Keywords and Phrases

Byzantine Attacks; Distributed Inference; Fisher Information; Kullback-Leibler Divergence; Network-Security; Sensor Networks

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1053-587X; 1941-0476

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2014