Secure multi-agent system for location based services

  • Husam Mhd. Nour Hamadi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Hussam Moh'd Nour Al Hamadi. Secure Multi-Agent System for Location Based Service. M.Sc. By Research Thesis, Computer Engineering Department, Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, January 2012 Multi-agent systems have a flexible and adaptable structure that makes them suitable for use in many applications. However, their lack of providing users with some fundamental security features prohibits their widespread use in commercial systems including those that utilize Location Based Services (LBS). This thesis has explored the security contributions that have been made to secure multi-agent systems and investigated the most important security requirements in this field. They are mutual authentication, confidentiality, integrity, availability and authorization. The aim of this project is to design, develop, test and evaluate an efficient security protocol in a multi-agent system. In order to guarantee these security requirements, we have adopted a new architectural approach based on the Kerberos protocol. The architecture consists of two parts. In the first part, the system provides services for users of multi-agent systems based on the notion of a distributed system. In the second part, we customized a security protocol called Multi-Agent Security using Enhanced Kerberos (MASEK). The multi-agent system and security protocol are simulated using the JADE (Java Agent DEvelopment) language. The MASEK protocol is based on an indirect authentication methodology that uses Authentication Server (AS) and Ticket Granting Server (TGS) as trusted third parties. These entities improve the security and the efficiency of the system in two ways: firstly, the usage of the trusted third party to represent the credentials of the client and the service provider agents, in addition to provide a scheme for exchanging session keys between agents. Secondly, the control of the TGS in order to restrict any overflow with the amount of messaging that might occur in the system between service providers and client's agents. The protocol was used in a case study that involves LBS. This case study provides a service to buy a used car in a market. From a distribution point of view, the client agent interacts with the trusted TGS agent which will distribute the required car's details along with the location of client agent. The client agent then receives the result from the nearest car showroom or seller (service providers' agents) based on their location. All the exchanged communications and requests processed in the system are encrypted and secured. The MASEK protocol provides confidentiality, integrity, availability, authorization and mutual authentication for multi-agent systems.
Date of Award2012
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMohamed Zemerly (Supervisor)


  • Multi-Agent System
  • Security
  • Verification and Location-Based

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