Back to Front Page
A Scalable Protocol for Cooperative Time Synchronization Using Spatial Averaging.

A. Hu, S. D. Servetto.

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking; Submitted, October 2006.

Time synchronization is an important aspect of sensor network operation. However, it is well known that synchronization error accumulates over multiple hops. This presents a challenge for large-scale, multi-hop sensor networks with a large number of nodes distributed over wide areas. In this work, we present a protocol that uses spatial averaging to reduce error accumulation in large-scale networks. We provide an analysis to quantify the synchronization improvement achieved using spatial averaging and find that in a basic cooperative network, the skew and offset variance decrease approximately as 1/\bar{N} where \bar{N} is the number of cooperating nodes. For general networks, simulation results and a comparison to basic cooperative network results are used to illustrate the improvement in synchronization performance.

Download submitted paper (PDF file).