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Over-the-air software updates in the internet of things : an overview of key principles

Jan Bauwens (UGent) , Peter Ruckebusch (UGent) , Spilios Giannoulis (UGent) , Ingrid Moerman (UGent) and Eli De Poorter (UGent)
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Abstract
Due to the fast pace at which IoT is evolving, there is an increasing need to support over-theair software updates for security updates, bug fixes, and software extensions. To this end, multiple over-the-air techniques have been proposed, each covering a specific aspect of the update process, such as (partial) code updates, data dissemination, and security. However, each technique introduces overhead, especially in terms of energy consumption, thereby impacting the operational lifetime of the battery constrained devices. Until now, a comprehensive overview describing the different update steps and quantifying the impact of each step is missing in the scientific literature, making it hard to assess the overall feasibility of an over-the-air update. To remedy this, our article analyzes which parts of an IoT operating system are most updated after device deployment, proposes a step-by-step approach to integrate software updates in IoT solutions, and quantifies the energy cost of each of the involved steps. The results show that besides the obvious dissemination cost, other phases such as security also introduce a significant overhead. For instance, a typical firmware update requires 135.026 mJ, of which the main portions are data dissemination (63.11 percent) and encryption (5.29 percent). However, when modular updates are used instead, the energy cost (e.g., for a MAC update) is reduced to 26.743 mJ (48.69 percent for data dissemination and 26.47 percent for encryption).
Keywords
Internet of Things, Wireless sensor networks, Security, Data dissemination, Computer bugs, Enregy consumption, Operating systems

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Bauwens, Jan, et al. “Over-the-Air Software Updates in the Internet of Things : An Overview of Key Principles.” IEEE COMMUNICATIONS MAGAZINE, vol. 58, no. 2, 2020, pp. 35–41.
APA
Bauwens, J., Ruckebusch, P., Giannoulis, S., Moerman, I., & De Poorter, E. (2020). Over-the-air software updates in the internet of things : an overview of key principles. IEEE COMMUNICATIONS MAGAZINE, 58(2), 35–41.
Chicago author-date
Bauwens, Jan, Peter Ruckebusch, Spilios Giannoulis, Ingrid Moerman, and Eli De Poorter. 2020. “Over-the-Air Software Updates in the Internet of Things : An Overview of Key Principles.” IEEE COMMUNICATIONS MAGAZINE 58 (2): 35–41.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Bauwens, Jan, Peter Ruckebusch, Spilios Giannoulis, Ingrid Moerman, and Eli De Poorter. 2020. “Over-the-Air Software Updates in the Internet of Things : An Overview of Key Principles.” IEEE COMMUNICATIONS MAGAZINE 58 (2): 35–41.
Vancouver
1.
Bauwens J, Ruckebusch P, Giannoulis S, Moerman I, De Poorter E. Over-the-air software updates in the internet of things : an overview of key principles. IEEE COMMUNICATIONS MAGAZINE. 2020;58(2):35–41.
IEEE
[1]
J. Bauwens, P. Ruckebusch, S. Giannoulis, I. Moerman, and E. De Poorter, “Over-the-air software updates in the internet of things : an overview of key principles,” IEEE COMMUNICATIONS MAGAZINE, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 35–41, 2020.
@article{8659123,
  abstract     = {Due to the fast pace at which IoT is evolving, there is an increasing need to support over-theair software updates for security updates, bug fixes, and software extensions. To this end, multiple over-the-air techniques have been proposed, each covering a specific aspect of the update process, such as (partial) code updates, data dissemination, and security. However, each technique introduces overhead, especially in terms of energy consumption, thereby impacting the operational lifetime of the battery constrained devices. Until now, a comprehensive overview describing the different update steps and quantifying the impact of each step is missing in the scientific literature, making it hard to assess the overall feasibility of an over-the-air update. To remedy this, our article analyzes which parts of an IoT operating system are most updated after device deployment, proposes a step-by-step approach to integrate software updates in IoT solutions, and quantifies the energy cost of each of the involved steps. The results show that besides the obvious dissemination cost, other phases such as security also introduce a significant overhead. For instance, a typical firmware update requires 135.026 mJ, of which the main portions are data dissemination (63.11 percent) and encryption (5.29 percent). However, when modular updates are used instead, the energy cost (e.g., for a MAC update) is reduced to 26.743 mJ (48.69 percent for data dissemination and 26.47 percent for encryption).},
  author       = {Bauwens, Jan and Ruckebusch, Peter and Giannoulis, Spilios and Moerman, Ingrid and De Poorter, Eli},
  issn         = {0163-6804},
  journal      = {IEEE COMMUNICATIONS MAGAZINE},
  keywords     = {Internet of Things,Wireless sensor networks,Security,Data dissemination,Computer bugs,Enregy consumption,Operating systems},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {35--41},
  title        = {Over-the-air software updates in the internet of things : an overview of key principles},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MCOM.001.1900125},
  volume       = {58},
  year         = {2020},
}

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