Public key management scheme in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) is an inevitable solution to achieve different security services such as integrity, confidentiality, authentication and non reputation. Probabilistic asymmetric key pre-distribution (PAKP) is a self-organized and fully distributed approach. It resolves most of MANET’s challenging concerns such as storage constraint, limited physical security and dynamic topology. In such a model, secure path between two nodes is composed of one or more random successive direct secure links where intermediate nodes can read, drop or modify packets. This way, intelligent selection of intermediate nodes on a secure path is vital to ensure security and lower traffic volume.
In this paper, subjective logic is used to improve PAKP method with the aim to select the most trusted and robust path. Consequently, our approach results in a better data traffic and also improve the security. Proposed algorithm chooses the least number of nodes among the most trustworthy nodes which are able to act as intermediate stations. We exploit two subjective logic based models: one exploits the subjective nature of trust between nodes and the other considers path conditions. We then evaluate our approach using network simulator NS-3. Simulation results confirm the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed protocol compared to the basic PAKP scheme.