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As a fundamental networking service, time synchronization allows nodes in a network to have a common notion of time with respect to a global reference despite the imperfectness of real clocks that operate at different frequencies and gradually accumulate drift offsets among each other. However, effective synchronization design is still difficult for low duty-cycle wireless networks. In this thesis, I conduct research on two perspectives: (i) in one-hop, practical synchronous rendezvous (i.e., PSR) is designed to extract timing information naturally embedded in the pattern of radio duty-cycling, so that normal traffic in the network can be utilized as a “free” input for drift detection, which helps reduce (or even eliminate) the overhead of traditional time-stamp exchange with dedicated packets or bits and (ii) in multi-hop, scalable time synchronization protocol is proposed to address the severe scalability issue in low duty-cycle wireless networks.
Advisors: Ziguo Zhong