On-Demand Time Synchronization With Predictable Accuracy

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Executive Summary

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.

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