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High-Precision Low-Power Wireless Nodes' Synchronization via Decentralized Control

Leva, Alberto; Terraneo, Federico; Rinaldi, Luigi; Papadopoulos, Alessandro Vittorio LU and Maggio, Martina LU (2016) In IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology 24(4). p.1279-1293
Abstract

Time synchronization is crucial for wireless sensor networks (WSNs), where operations often rely on time ordering of events. WSNs are deployed in different scenarios, and therefore their timing requirements are often related to the peculiar characteristics of the specific environment they have to act in. Synchronization is anyway always an issue: transactional applications need monotonicity of the nodes' clocks to avoid time reversal, ultralow power applications call for minimal overhead to allow for low-duty-cycle operation, applications facing extreme environments have to maintain the needed precision in the presence of unforeseen thermal drift, and so on. Specially, control applications on battery-powered devices, where timing is an... (More)

Time synchronization is crucial for wireless sensor networks (WSNs), where operations often rely on time ordering of events. WSNs are deployed in different scenarios, and therefore their timing requirements are often related to the peculiar characteristics of the specific environment they have to act in. Synchronization is anyway always an issue: transactional applications need monotonicity of the nodes' clocks to avoid time reversal, ultralow power applications call for minimal overhead to allow for low-duty-cycle operation, applications facing extreme environments have to maintain the needed precision in the presence of unforeseen thermal drift, and so on. Specially, control applications on battery-powered devices, where timing is an issue and low-power operation is highly desired, benefit from synchronization. However, to date, the problem of synchronization has been differently faced depending on the application domain. This paper proposes a general solution to the problem of synchronization in WSNs, which seamlessly integrates with the radio stack. In addition, it guarantees monotonic and continuous node clocks with low overhead for the infrastructure. The solution is based on a decentralized control scheme that is stable and robust to thermal stress, without the need for temperature measurements. The control scheme is simulated and implemented on real WSN nodes. The efficiency of the scheme is evaluated with simulations and experiments, providing insights on the maximum synchronization error between nodes, on the communication overhead, and on the limited nodes' power consumption. The solution is also compared with state-of-the-art alternatives.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Decentralized control, linear control, low-power operation, time synchronization, wireless sensor networks (WSNs)
in
IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
volume
24
issue
4
pages
15 pages
publisher
IEEE--Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
external identifiers
  • scopus:84946091803
  • wos:000378264600011
ISSN
1063-6536
DOI
10.1109/TCST.2015.2483559
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
49d50433-5620-4e74-b06d-64d689993c1d
date added to LUP
2017-01-23 14:41:18
date last changed
2017-10-22 05:25:24
@article{49d50433-5620-4e74-b06d-64d689993c1d,
  abstract     = {<p>Time synchronization is crucial for wireless sensor networks (WSNs), where operations often rely on time ordering of events. WSNs are deployed in different scenarios, and therefore their timing requirements are often related to the peculiar characteristics of the specific environment they have to act in. Synchronization is anyway always an issue: transactional applications need monotonicity of the nodes' clocks to avoid time reversal, ultralow power applications call for minimal overhead to allow for low-duty-cycle operation, applications facing extreme environments have to maintain the needed precision in the presence of unforeseen thermal drift, and so on. Specially, control applications on battery-powered devices, where timing is an issue and low-power operation is highly desired, benefit from synchronization. However, to date, the problem of synchronization has been differently faced depending on the application domain. This paper proposes a general solution to the problem of synchronization in WSNs, which seamlessly integrates with the radio stack. In addition, it guarantees monotonic and continuous node clocks with low overhead for the infrastructure. The solution is based on a decentralized control scheme that is stable and robust to thermal stress, without the need for temperature measurements. The control scheme is simulated and implemented on real WSN nodes. The efficiency of the scheme is evaluated with simulations and experiments, providing insights on the maximum synchronization error between nodes, on the communication overhead, and on the limited nodes' power consumption. The solution is also compared with state-of-the-art alternatives.</p>},
  articleno    = {7312449},
  author       = {Leva, Alberto and Terraneo, Federico and Rinaldi, Luigi and Papadopoulos, Alessandro Vittorio and Maggio, Martina},
  issn         = {1063-6536},
  keyword      = {Decentralized control,linear control,low-power operation,time synchronization,wireless sensor networks (WSNs)},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {1279--1293},
  publisher    = {IEEE--Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.},
  series       = {IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology},
  title        = {High-Precision Low-Power Wireless Nodes' Synchronization via Decentralized Control},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TCST.2015.2483559},
  volume       = {24},
  year         = {2016},
}