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While symmetric-key schemes are efficient in processing time for sensor networks, they generally require complicated key management, which may introduce large memory and communication overhead. On the contrary, public key based schemes have simple and clean key management, but cost more computational time. The recent progress of Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) implementation on sensors motivates people to design a public-key scheme and compare its performance with the symmetric-key counterparts. This paper builds the user access control on commercial off-the-shelf sensor devices as a case study to show that the public-key scheme can be more advantageous in terms of the memory usage, message complexity, and security resilience.
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