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Synchronization of Multihop Wireless
Sensor Networks at the Application Layer.




Alvaro Marco and Roberto Casas, University of Zaragoza
   Jose Luis Sevillano Ramos, University of Seville.

           Presented by: Vaishnavi Chigarapalle.
Abstract
• Time Synchronization.

• Best way to achieve synchronization- Time stamping sync messages.

• Bluetooth or ZigBee.

• Receiver to receiver scheme.

• In this article, they present a method that allows synchronization of
  large Multihop networks, working at the application layer while
  keeping the message exchange to a minimum.
Introduction
•   Time synchronization entails an important function in Wireless Sensor
    Networks(WSNs), and this function can be performed at different layers depending on
    the objective of synchronization.
•   For instance, Sharp timing is fundamental at low layers, as it helps increase data
    rates, and enhance noise immunity and time division multiple access based scheduling.
•   WSNs are networks composed of a large number of small devices that take
    measurements, process them, and communicate with other devices coordinating their
    operations.
•   This collaboration enables a complex sensing task, named data fusion.
•   Data fusion requires synchronization for two tasks: time scheduling and time stamping.
•   The first is needed when the nodes coordinate to perform cooperative communications.
•   The second is commonly used when data is fused taking into account the collecting
    instant.
•   In this article they describe in detail and evaluate the use in WSNs of the Multihop
    Broadcast Synchronization (MBS) protocol.
•   The proposed protocol is very well suited for WSNs and fill an existing gap when
    synchronizing WSNs with a global network time.
•   MBs helps to achieve high accuracy and energy efficiency when time stamping at lower
    layers is not possible in multi hop networks.
Related Work
• They could distinguish between posteriori and a priori synchronization.
• A posteriori methods keep devices clocks running free, gathering information
  between relative clocks and rear ranging timestamps once the measurement
  processes are finished.
• These methods are usually the most energy efficient because they optimize the
  number of messages exchanged, but do not offer real time capabilities.
• On the other hand, a priori methods overcome this by synchronizing all the
  nodes with a common time reference (Global Network Time [GNT]) using
  regular clock corrections.
• A common drawback of these techniques is overload of the network due to the
  messages required to estimate the communication delays.
• Another key issue is whether there is a sender transmitting the current clock
  values as time stamps (sender to receiver) or not (receiver to receiver).
• The problem with sender to receiver methods is the uncertainty time introduced
  by the send and access processes.
• The problem with the receiver to receiver synchronization methods is how to
  propagate the local timestamps of the broadcast receivers to GNT.
• The Timing-Sync Protocol for Sensor Networks (TPSN) is a sender to receiver
  protocol that achieves real time with high accuracy optimizing message
  exchange.
•   It avoids the indeterminism working at the medium access (MAC) layer to
    precisely timestamp messages at the exact moment they are sent.
•   The Flooding Time Synchronization Protocol (FTSP) also uses MAC layer time
    stamping at both sender and receiver sides.
•   The protocol proposes a multihop propagation scheme that does not need any
    initial configuration to propagate synchronization info.
•   This ad hoc structure also enables dynamically overcoming node and link failures
    in the network.
•   However, the sender to receiver synchronization schemes require accessing the
    lower layers, which is not always possible when using standard or complex
    protocols.
•   Current WSN applications are developed using a wide variety of hardware,
    software and communication protocols; the two current standards are ZigBee and
    Bluetooth.
•   The Multihop Broadcast Synchronization (MBS) protocol is a receiver to receiver
    synchronization scheme that nonetheless obtains a GNT working at the application
    layer.
Multihop Broadcast Synchronization Protocol
•   Many of the functions performed by sensor nodes require a precise time
    measurement.
•   The devices commonly used to provide an accurate time base are oscillators.
•   Although these clocks, ideally provide a heartbeat at a constant rate, all of them
    present a frequency tolerance that is also slightly affected by the operation
    temperature and aging.
•   Thus two clocks, even manufactured in the same process will not have a priori the
    same frequency.
•   This way, nodes in a WSN measure time with oscillators at slightly different rates.
    This divergence, called clock skew, can go up to 150 parts per million(PPM).
•   Apart from clock skew, there is an offset among clocks because each node starts at a
    different instant.
•   Given a node I, with clock skew si and offset ki, its clock reading ti can be written as:
                               ti = si t + ki, I = 1..n.
•   Thus, synchronizing the clock of node I implies estimating and compensating clock
    skew and offset (si, ki).
•   A sync point k is defined as a pair of timestamps collected at the same time tk in the
    reference node and in the nodes that want to be synchronized: {tik, trk}.
•   Once each node stores several sync points at different instants, the offset and skew
    (ki*, si*) differences with the reference can be calculated using linear regression:
                      si*= Σk (trk-tr-) (tik-ti-)
                                  Σk (trk-tr-)2
                      ki*=ti—si*tr-
•   Where the bar indicates average.
•   This way every node can estimate the global time (tr*) from its local clock:
                      tr*= ti-ki*
                              si*
•   It is not possible to obtain a sync-point at the same instant in two nodes not
    physically linked; there will be unknown delays in the synchronization message
    exchange.
•   TPSN and FTSP eliminate the biggest uncertainties(send, receive, and access time)
    by time stamping at the MAC layer.
•   MBS protocol obtains sync-points using reference broadcasts with considerably less
    message overhead than other methods that also use reference broadcasts, and
    manages to synchronize all the nodes as well, making multihop propagation easy.
Protocol Description
•   Nodes in MBS perform two tasks.
•   Propagators are those that spread the GNT broadcast synchronization methods.
•   Time stampers are nodes that can notify propagators about the timestamp when the
    previous broadcast message arrives.
•   The synchronization will be made in two hops, the same number of hops FTSP would
    need.
•   This process will be done using two different messages: syncBC and TimeUC.
•   SyncBC is the broadcast type and contains three fields:
     –   Propagator ID : Identifying the sender.
     –   Sequence number of the message.
     –   The timestamp when the previous SyncBC arrived.
•   TimeUC messages are unicast messages used by timestampers to notify the
    propagators about the time when the last SyncBC arrived.
•   They contain the following fields:
•   Sequence of steps to synchronize the network.
•   The message sent specifying the fields: SyncBC (PropagatorId; sequence numebr;
    timestamp) and TimeUC (TimestamperID; PropagatorID; sequence numebr;
    timestamp).
•   The first hop would be as follows:
     –   N6 initiates the synchronization process
         by sending SyncBC (N6;0;void) message.
         The nodes that receive the
         message(N1,N2,..), timestamp the arrival
         of the SyncBC from node6 with sequence
         number 0; that is TSN1{N6,0},
         TSN2{N6,0},..
     –   N1 informs about the timestamp when it
         received the last SyncBC message:
         TimeUC(N1;N6;0;TSN1{N6,0}).
     –   N6 sends the timestamp of the previous
         SyncBC message and sets a new reference
         point for timestamping: SyncBC (N6;1;
         TSN1{N6,0}). At this instant, all Ni
         neighbors of N6 have their respective
         Sync points from the first
         SyncBC:[TSNi{N6,0}, TSN1{N6,0}]. N1
         does not need it because it rules the GNT.
         From now on, steps 2 and 3 will be
         repeated, causing all nodes in the range of
         N6to have a collection of Sync points.
•   Note that N6 does not have the global time.
•   To fix this and to propagate the clock one hop away, any other propagator such
    as N3initiates the above described sequence.
•   Each propagator broadcasts SyncBC messages including the Timestamp of the
    previous SyncBC message.
•   Timestampers notify the propagators about the last timestamp.
•   All nodes in a range get a collection of sync-points that allow them to
    synchronize to GNT.
•   Accuracy of Sync points will be degraded as nodes are farther away from the
    clock generator (N1).
•   In case of near failures, such as low batteries, propagators and timestampers
    can transfer their responsibilities to neighboring nodes.
Practical Issues
 •   The MBS protocol was earlier described without taking into consideration the
     practical issues such as how to initialize the algorithm, how to determine the role
     to be performed by every node, and so on.
 •   Considering an example to understand the general case:
      – Let us assume that node N1 is already synchronized, and a couple of nodes, N2 and
        N3, are not yet synchronized.
      – In order to synchronize N2 and N3 with respect to N1, an intermediate node, N4, that
        can send broadcast messages to N1, N2 and N3 is needed.
      – Thus N4 will act as a propagator node and N1 will act as timestamper for N4.
      – Thus, the general rule is that all the neighbors of the neighbors of N1 can be
        synchronized with respect to N1 provided that these nodes have a one-hop estimation
        of the time of N1.
      – In the same manner, N1 will have a one hop estimation of the time in the node with
        respect to when it is synchronized, which in turn will have a one hop estimation, and
        so on until GTP is reached.
      – The number of hops needed to reach the GTP can be used to define the quality of a
        node synchronization, which we call HopId.
•   In order to improve performance, if a node listens to more than one propagator, it
    must only use sync messages from the propagator whose timestamper has lower
    HopId.
•   Also, if a node is acting as timestamper for a propagator, it cannot use incoming
    SyncBC messages from this propagator to synchronize itself.
•   Now, the mechanism should be that first all nodes but the GTP (with HopId equal
    to 0) are not synchronized.
•   Nodes close to the GTP will be synchronized with respect to the GTP, and they
    will be assigned HopId equal to 1.
•   Still several criteria are possible to set the GTP, such as minimizing the total
    synchronization error expressed as the sum of the HopId of every
    node, maximizing the number of nodes with lower HopId, or setting an upper
    bound for the HopId.
MBS Protocol Evaluation and Comparison
•   MBS protocol can be evaluated in two different architectures and both these
    architectures are used to build multihop WSNs following two standard
    protocols: ZigBee and Bluetooth.
•   ZigBee:
     –   In this case, we use a common platform: an Atmel microcontroller (ATMega128) with the
         Chipcon’s CC2420 transceiver.
     –   Developing the entire stack to make the network ZigBee compliant requires a lot of work, thus
         using the EmberZNet embedded software.
     –   This way, a multihop, auto-routing and self-healing ZigBee network was built, working at the
         application layer.
•   Bluetooth:
     –   For Bluetooth Architecture, a Microchip PIC16F876 microcontroller manages a Mitsumi
         Bluetooth Module (WML-C20) through HCI, the standard Bluetooth Host Controller Interface.
     –   This design enables to access low-power modes and implement tree topology networks using
         scatternets.
•   To evaluate MBS’s performance, every node is connected to a wired
    bus, where one of them periodically generates a pulse.
•   All the nodes which are synchronized with MBs, timestamp the receiving
    instant with their GNT estimation and send back the data to the PC, where the
    timestamp differences with respect to the GTP are considered to obtain the
    synchronization error.
Single Hop Synchronization
 •   When synchronizing wireless node s, all methods use one of the
     following strategies: to timestamp at the sender and receiver side, or use
     reference broadcast, timestamping only at the arriving side.
 •   The timing accuracy among nodes depends mainly on the hardware and
     firmware architecture: how the sending and arriving moments are
     detected, which times are affected and their uncertainty.
 •   Other factors that also affect the estimation are the following:
      –   The distribution of errors will determine how the linear regression eliminates them and
          the quality of the clock estimation. The time difference between reception instants of
          broadcast messages follows a Gaussian distribution with the architecture.
      –   The local oscillator drift is influenced by the initial accuracy, the temperature
          stability, and aging. Its behavior can also condition the precision and the timing
          lifetime.
      –   Finally, the frequency and the number of sync points used in the estimation will
          determine the expected accuracy.
Multihop GNT Propagation
•   The behavior of MBS was evaluated in two different scenarios.
•   Four-hop Bluetooth ScatterNet:
     –   The first scenario is the Four hop Bluetooth ScatterNet.
     –   Bluetooth networks are made up of piconets, i.e., star networks with one master and up to seven
         slaves, where only the master can send the broadcast messages.
     –   Piconets from scatternets using nodes playing both master and slave roles.
     –   Time-stampers are nodes that must be slaves in two different piconets.
•   ZigBee:
     –   In this case a mesh network was implemented similar to the existing protocol but with four-hop depth.
•   As in the case of one hop, synchronization error chiefly depends on the number of
    points used to perform regression and the alignment error in the establishment of
    sync points.
•   As the number of hops increases synchronization error becomes sensitive to the
    number of sync-points used.
•   Again, if the application needs higher synchronization accuracy than the alignment
    error between nodes, it is possible to reduce error by increasing the number of sync-
    points to perform regression.
•   There is no point in comparing precision among methods because they mainly
    depend up on the accuracy estimating sync-points and the number of pairs used.
•   Architecture (communication
    transceiver, protocol, memory
    available, etc.) will be much
    more relevant than the
    synchronization protocol.
•   On the other hand, the amount
    of messages needed will have a
    big influence on the
    applicability of the method.
•   This is just one of the strongest
    points of MBS; it drastically
    reduces the number of
    messages compared to other
    receiver to receiver protocols.
•   Indeed, it is on the same order
    of magnitude as FTSP (the
    most efficient sender to
    receiver method).
Conclusions
•   Local clocks of nodes in wireless sensor networks have different offset and
    accuracy.
•   Synchronization is mainly achieved by collecting sync-points and performing linear
    regression to compensate for differences among nodes clocks.
•   Medium access time is a non deterministic error that hinders accurate timestamping
    of transmission instants when working at the highest layers of protocol stacks.
•   Nevertheless, these methods set a network time shared by all the nodes at the
    expense of high network load.
•   This drawback may be inadmissible for large networks.
•   The key issue of MBS is that each reference broadcast informs about the timestamp
    of the previous one.
•   This way, message exchanging is minimized, similar to other sender to receiver
    methods.
•   MBS is implemented in two different architectures (Bluetooth and ZigBee),
    evaluating its performance.
Questions?

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Synchronization of multihop sensor networks in the app layer

  • 1. Synchronization of Multihop Wireless Sensor Networks at the Application Layer. Alvaro Marco and Roberto Casas, University of Zaragoza Jose Luis Sevillano Ramos, University of Seville. Presented by: Vaishnavi Chigarapalle.
  • 2. Abstract • Time Synchronization. • Best way to achieve synchronization- Time stamping sync messages. • Bluetooth or ZigBee. • Receiver to receiver scheme. • In this article, they present a method that allows synchronization of large Multihop networks, working at the application layer while keeping the message exchange to a minimum.
  • 3. Introduction • Time synchronization entails an important function in Wireless Sensor Networks(WSNs), and this function can be performed at different layers depending on the objective of synchronization. • For instance, Sharp timing is fundamental at low layers, as it helps increase data rates, and enhance noise immunity and time division multiple access based scheduling. • WSNs are networks composed of a large number of small devices that take measurements, process them, and communicate with other devices coordinating their operations. • This collaboration enables a complex sensing task, named data fusion. • Data fusion requires synchronization for two tasks: time scheduling and time stamping. • The first is needed when the nodes coordinate to perform cooperative communications. • The second is commonly used when data is fused taking into account the collecting instant. • In this article they describe in detail and evaluate the use in WSNs of the Multihop Broadcast Synchronization (MBS) protocol. • The proposed protocol is very well suited for WSNs and fill an existing gap when synchronizing WSNs with a global network time. • MBs helps to achieve high accuracy and energy efficiency when time stamping at lower layers is not possible in multi hop networks.
  • 4. Related Work • They could distinguish between posteriori and a priori synchronization. • A posteriori methods keep devices clocks running free, gathering information between relative clocks and rear ranging timestamps once the measurement processes are finished. • These methods are usually the most energy efficient because they optimize the number of messages exchanged, but do not offer real time capabilities. • On the other hand, a priori methods overcome this by synchronizing all the nodes with a common time reference (Global Network Time [GNT]) using regular clock corrections. • A common drawback of these techniques is overload of the network due to the messages required to estimate the communication delays. • Another key issue is whether there is a sender transmitting the current clock values as time stamps (sender to receiver) or not (receiver to receiver). • The problem with sender to receiver methods is the uncertainty time introduced by the send and access processes. • The problem with the receiver to receiver synchronization methods is how to propagate the local timestamps of the broadcast receivers to GNT. • The Timing-Sync Protocol for Sensor Networks (TPSN) is a sender to receiver protocol that achieves real time with high accuracy optimizing message exchange.
  • 5. It avoids the indeterminism working at the medium access (MAC) layer to precisely timestamp messages at the exact moment they are sent. • The Flooding Time Synchronization Protocol (FTSP) also uses MAC layer time stamping at both sender and receiver sides. • The protocol proposes a multihop propagation scheme that does not need any initial configuration to propagate synchronization info. • This ad hoc structure also enables dynamically overcoming node and link failures in the network. • However, the sender to receiver synchronization schemes require accessing the lower layers, which is not always possible when using standard or complex protocols. • Current WSN applications are developed using a wide variety of hardware, software and communication protocols; the two current standards are ZigBee and Bluetooth. • The Multihop Broadcast Synchronization (MBS) protocol is a receiver to receiver synchronization scheme that nonetheless obtains a GNT working at the application layer.
  • 6. Multihop Broadcast Synchronization Protocol • Many of the functions performed by sensor nodes require a precise time measurement. • The devices commonly used to provide an accurate time base are oscillators. • Although these clocks, ideally provide a heartbeat at a constant rate, all of them present a frequency tolerance that is also slightly affected by the operation temperature and aging. • Thus two clocks, even manufactured in the same process will not have a priori the same frequency. • This way, nodes in a WSN measure time with oscillators at slightly different rates. This divergence, called clock skew, can go up to 150 parts per million(PPM). • Apart from clock skew, there is an offset among clocks because each node starts at a different instant. • Given a node I, with clock skew si and offset ki, its clock reading ti can be written as: ti = si t + ki, I = 1..n. • Thus, synchronizing the clock of node I implies estimating and compensating clock skew and offset (si, ki). • A sync point k is defined as a pair of timestamps collected at the same time tk in the reference node and in the nodes that want to be synchronized: {tik, trk}.
  • 7. Once each node stores several sync points at different instants, the offset and skew (ki*, si*) differences with the reference can be calculated using linear regression: si*= Σk (trk-tr-) (tik-ti-) Σk (trk-tr-)2 ki*=ti—si*tr- • Where the bar indicates average. • This way every node can estimate the global time (tr*) from its local clock: tr*= ti-ki* si* • It is not possible to obtain a sync-point at the same instant in two nodes not physically linked; there will be unknown delays in the synchronization message exchange. • TPSN and FTSP eliminate the biggest uncertainties(send, receive, and access time) by time stamping at the MAC layer. • MBS protocol obtains sync-points using reference broadcasts with considerably less message overhead than other methods that also use reference broadcasts, and manages to synchronize all the nodes as well, making multihop propagation easy.
  • 8. Protocol Description • Nodes in MBS perform two tasks. • Propagators are those that spread the GNT broadcast synchronization methods. • Time stampers are nodes that can notify propagators about the timestamp when the previous broadcast message arrives. • The synchronization will be made in two hops, the same number of hops FTSP would need. • This process will be done using two different messages: syncBC and TimeUC. • SyncBC is the broadcast type and contains three fields: – Propagator ID : Identifying the sender. – Sequence number of the message. – The timestamp when the previous SyncBC arrived. • TimeUC messages are unicast messages used by timestampers to notify the propagators about the time when the last SyncBC arrived. • They contain the following fields: • Sequence of steps to synchronize the network. • The message sent specifying the fields: SyncBC (PropagatorId; sequence numebr; timestamp) and TimeUC (TimestamperID; PropagatorID; sequence numebr; timestamp).
  • 9. The first hop would be as follows: – N6 initiates the synchronization process by sending SyncBC (N6;0;void) message. The nodes that receive the message(N1,N2,..), timestamp the arrival of the SyncBC from node6 with sequence number 0; that is TSN1{N6,0}, TSN2{N6,0},.. – N1 informs about the timestamp when it received the last SyncBC message: TimeUC(N1;N6;0;TSN1{N6,0}). – N6 sends the timestamp of the previous SyncBC message and sets a new reference point for timestamping: SyncBC (N6;1; TSN1{N6,0}). At this instant, all Ni neighbors of N6 have their respective Sync points from the first SyncBC:[TSNi{N6,0}, TSN1{N6,0}]. N1 does not need it because it rules the GNT. From now on, steps 2 and 3 will be repeated, causing all nodes in the range of N6to have a collection of Sync points.
  • 10. Note that N6 does not have the global time. • To fix this and to propagate the clock one hop away, any other propagator such as N3initiates the above described sequence. • Each propagator broadcasts SyncBC messages including the Timestamp of the previous SyncBC message. • Timestampers notify the propagators about the last timestamp. • All nodes in a range get a collection of sync-points that allow them to synchronize to GNT. • Accuracy of Sync points will be degraded as nodes are farther away from the clock generator (N1). • In case of near failures, such as low batteries, propagators and timestampers can transfer their responsibilities to neighboring nodes.
  • 11. Practical Issues • The MBS protocol was earlier described without taking into consideration the practical issues such as how to initialize the algorithm, how to determine the role to be performed by every node, and so on. • Considering an example to understand the general case: – Let us assume that node N1 is already synchronized, and a couple of nodes, N2 and N3, are not yet synchronized. – In order to synchronize N2 and N3 with respect to N1, an intermediate node, N4, that can send broadcast messages to N1, N2 and N3 is needed. – Thus N4 will act as a propagator node and N1 will act as timestamper for N4. – Thus, the general rule is that all the neighbors of the neighbors of N1 can be synchronized with respect to N1 provided that these nodes have a one-hop estimation of the time of N1. – In the same manner, N1 will have a one hop estimation of the time in the node with respect to when it is synchronized, which in turn will have a one hop estimation, and so on until GTP is reached. – The number of hops needed to reach the GTP can be used to define the quality of a node synchronization, which we call HopId.
  • 12. In order to improve performance, if a node listens to more than one propagator, it must only use sync messages from the propagator whose timestamper has lower HopId. • Also, if a node is acting as timestamper for a propagator, it cannot use incoming SyncBC messages from this propagator to synchronize itself. • Now, the mechanism should be that first all nodes but the GTP (with HopId equal to 0) are not synchronized. • Nodes close to the GTP will be synchronized with respect to the GTP, and they will be assigned HopId equal to 1. • Still several criteria are possible to set the GTP, such as minimizing the total synchronization error expressed as the sum of the HopId of every node, maximizing the number of nodes with lower HopId, or setting an upper bound for the HopId.
  • 13. MBS Protocol Evaluation and Comparison • MBS protocol can be evaluated in two different architectures and both these architectures are used to build multihop WSNs following two standard protocols: ZigBee and Bluetooth. • ZigBee: – In this case, we use a common platform: an Atmel microcontroller (ATMega128) with the Chipcon’s CC2420 transceiver. – Developing the entire stack to make the network ZigBee compliant requires a lot of work, thus using the EmberZNet embedded software. – This way, a multihop, auto-routing and self-healing ZigBee network was built, working at the application layer. • Bluetooth: – For Bluetooth Architecture, a Microchip PIC16F876 microcontroller manages a Mitsumi Bluetooth Module (WML-C20) through HCI, the standard Bluetooth Host Controller Interface. – This design enables to access low-power modes and implement tree topology networks using scatternets. • To evaluate MBS’s performance, every node is connected to a wired bus, where one of them periodically generates a pulse. • All the nodes which are synchronized with MBs, timestamp the receiving instant with their GNT estimation and send back the data to the PC, where the timestamp differences with respect to the GTP are considered to obtain the synchronization error.
  • 14. Single Hop Synchronization • When synchronizing wireless node s, all methods use one of the following strategies: to timestamp at the sender and receiver side, or use reference broadcast, timestamping only at the arriving side. • The timing accuracy among nodes depends mainly on the hardware and firmware architecture: how the sending and arriving moments are detected, which times are affected and their uncertainty. • Other factors that also affect the estimation are the following: – The distribution of errors will determine how the linear regression eliminates them and the quality of the clock estimation. The time difference between reception instants of broadcast messages follows a Gaussian distribution with the architecture. – The local oscillator drift is influenced by the initial accuracy, the temperature stability, and aging. Its behavior can also condition the precision and the timing lifetime. – Finally, the frequency and the number of sync points used in the estimation will determine the expected accuracy.
  • 15.
  • 16.
  • 17. Multihop GNT Propagation • The behavior of MBS was evaluated in two different scenarios. • Four-hop Bluetooth ScatterNet: – The first scenario is the Four hop Bluetooth ScatterNet. – Bluetooth networks are made up of piconets, i.e., star networks with one master and up to seven slaves, where only the master can send the broadcast messages. – Piconets from scatternets using nodes playing both master and slave roles. – Time-stampers are nodes that must be slaves in two different piconets. • ZigBee: – In this case a mesh network was implemented similar to the existing protocol but with four-hop depth. • As in the case of one hop, synchronization error chiefly depends on the number of points used to perform regression and the alignment error in the establishment of sync points. • As the number of hops increases synchronization error becomes sensitive to the number of sync-points used. • Again, if the application needs higher synchronization accuracy than the alignment error between nodes, it is possible to reduce error by increasing the number of sync- points to perform regression. • There is no point in comparing precision among methods because they mainly depend up on the accuracy estimating sync-points and the number of pairs used.
  • 18. Architecture (communication transceiver, protocol, memory available, etc.) will be much more relevant than the synchronization protocol. • On the other hand, the amount of messages needed will have a big influence on the applicability of the method. • This is just one of the strongest points of MBS; it drastically reduces the number of messages compared to other receiver to receiver protocols. • Indeed, it is on the same order of magnitude as FTSP (the most efficient sender to receiver method).
  • 19. Conclusions • Local clocks of nodes in wireless sensor networks have different offset and accuracy. • Synchronization is mainly achieved by collecting sync-points and performing linear regression to compensate for differences among nodes clocks. • Medium access time is a non deterministic error that hinders accurate timestamping of transmission instants when working at the highest layers of protocol stacks. • Nevertheless, these methods set a network time shared by all the nodes at the expense of high network load. • This drawback may be inadmissible for large networks. • The key issue of MBS is that each reference broadcast informs about the timestamp of the previous one. • This way, message exchanging is minimized, similar to other sender to receiver methods. • MBS is implemented in two different architectures (Bluetooth and ZigBee), evaluating its performance.