How Do the Arbiter PUFs Sample the Boolean Function Class?

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Conference Article

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Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)


Arbiter based Physical Unclonable Function (sometimes called Physically Unclonable Function, or in short PUF) is a hardware based pseudorandom bit generator. The pseudorandomness in the output bits depends on device specific parameters. For example, based on the delay parameters, an n-length Arbiter PUF can be considered as an n-variable Boolean function. We note that the random variation of the delay parameters cannot exhaust all the Boolean functions and the class is significantly smaller as well as restricted. While this is expected (as the autocorrelation property in certain cases is quite biased), we present a more disciplined and first theoretical combinatorial study in this domain. Our work shows how one can explore the functions achieved through an Arbiter based PUF construction with random delay parameters. Our technique mostly shows limitation of such functions from the angle of cryptographic evaluation as the subclass of the Boolean function can be identified with much better efficiency (much less complexity) than random. On the other hand, we note that under certain constraints on the weights of inputs, such a simple model of Arbiter PUFs provide good cryptographic parameters in terms of differential analysis. In this regard, we theoretically solve the problem of autocorrelation properties in a restricted space of input variables with a fixed weight. Experimental evidences complement our theoretical findings.

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