On-demand time synchronization with predictable accuracy

Ziguo Zhong, Pengpeng Chen, Tian He

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

72 Scopus citations


Time synchronization remains as a challenging task in wireless sensor networks that face severe resource constraints. Unlike previous work's aiming at pure clock accuracy, this paper proposes On-Demand Synchronization (ODS), a design to achieve efficient clock synchronization with customized performance. By carefully modeling the error uncertainty of skew detection and its propagation over time, ODS develops a novel uncertainty-driven mechanism to adaptively adjust each clock calibration interval individually rather than traditional periodic synchronization, for minimum communication overhead while satisfying the desired accuracy. Besides, ODS provides a nice feature of predictable accuracy, allowing nodes to acquire the useful information about real-time qualities of their synchronization. We implemented ODS on the MICAz mote platform, and evaluated it through test-bed experiments with 33 nodes as well as simulations obeying real world conditions. Results show that ODS is practical, flexible, and quickly adapts to varying accuracy requirements and different traffic load in the network for improved system efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2011 Proceedings IEEE INFOCOM
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Aug 2 2011
EventIEEE INFOCOM 2011 - Shanghai, China
Duration: Apr 10 2011Apr 15 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X




Dive into the research topics of 'On-demand time synchronization with predictable accuracy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this