Coupling Functions Enable Secure Communications


Secure encryption is an essential feature of modern communications, but rapid progress in illicit decryption brings a continuing need for new schemes that are harder and harder to break. Inspired by the time-varying nature of the cardiorespiratory interaction, here we introduce a new class of secure communications that is highly resistant to conventional attacks. Unlike all earlier encryption procedures, this cipher makes use of the coupling functions between interacting dynamical systems. It results in an unbounded number of encryption key possibilities, allows the transmission or reception of more than one signal simultaneously, and is robust against external noise. Thus, the information signals are encrypted as the time variations of linearly independent coupling functions. Using predetermined forms of coupling function, we apply Bayesian inference on the receiver side to detect and separate the information signals while simultaneously eliminating the effect of external noise. The scheme is highly modular and is readily extendable to support different communications applications within the same general framework.

By Tomislav Stankovski, Peter V. E. McClintock, and Aneta Stefanovska

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