State Masking Over a Two-State Compound Channel

Sadaf Salehkalaibar, Mohammad Hossein Yassaee, Vincent Y. F. Tan, Mehrasa Ahmadipour

We consider fundamental limits for communicating over a compound channel when the state of the channel needs to be masked. Our model is closely related to an area of study known as covert communication that is a setting in which the transmitter wishes to communicate to legitimate receiver(s) while ensuring that the communication is not detected by an adversary. The main contribution in our two-state masking setup is the establishment of bounds on the throughput-key region when the constraint that quantifies how much the states are masked is defined to be the total variation distance between the two channel-induced distributions. For the scenario in which the key length is infinite, we provide sufficient conditions for when the bounds to coincide for the throughput, which follows the square-root law. Numerical examples, including that of a Gaussian channel, are provided to illustrate our results.

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