A Perspective on the MIMO Wiretap Channel

Frederique Oggier, Babak Hassibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A wiretap channel is a communication channel between a transmitter Alice and a legitimate receiver Bob, in the presence of an eavesdropper Eve. The goal of communication is to achieve reliability between Alice and Bob, but also confidentiality despite Eve’s presence. Wiretap channels are declined in all kinds of flavors, depending on the underlying channels used by the three players: discrete memoryless channels, additive Gaussian noise channels, or fading channels, to name a few. In this survey, we focus on the case where the three players use multiple-antenna channels with Gaussian noise to communicate. After summarizing known results for multiple-input–multiple-output (MIMO) channels, both in terms of achievable reliable data rate (capacity) and code design, we introduce the MIMO wiretap channel. We then state the MIMO wiretap capacity, summarize the idea of the proof(s) behind this result, and comment on the insights given by the proofs on the physical meaning of the secrecy capacity. We finally discuss design criteria for MIMO wiretap codes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1874-1882
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: . The work of B. Hassibi was supported in part by theNational Science Foundation under Grants CNS-0932428, CCF-1018927, CCF-1423663,and CCF-1409204; by a grant from Qualcomm Inc.; by NASA’s Jet PropulsionLaboratory through the President and Directors Fund; by King Abdulaziz University;and by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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