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Global clock synchronization in sensor networks

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2 Author(s)
Qun Li ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Coll. of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA ; D. Rus

Global synchronization is important for many sensor network applications that require precise mapping of collected sensor data with the time of the events, for example, in tracking and surveillance. It also plays an important role in energy conservation in MAC layer protocols. This paper describes four methods to achieve global synchronization in a sensor network: a node-based approach, a hierarchical cluster-based method, a diffusion-based method, and a fault-tolerant diffusion-based method. The diffusion-based protocol is fully localized. We present two implementations of the diffusion-based protocol for synchronous and asynchronous systems and prove its convergence. Finally, we show that, by imposing some constraints on the sensor network, global clock synchronization can be achieved in the presence of malicious nodes that exhibit Byzantine failures.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Computers  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 2 )