Self-stabilizing Synchronization in Mobile Sensor Networks with Covering

  • Joffroy Beauquier
  • Janna Burman
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6131)


Synchronization is widely considered as an important service in distributed systems which may simplify protocol design. Phase clock is a general synchronization tool that provides a form of a logical time. This paper presents a self-stabilizing (a tolerating state-corrupting transient faults) phase clock algorithm suited to the model of population protocols with covering. This model has been proposed recently for sensor networks with a very large, possibly unknown number of anonymous mobile agents having small memory. Agents interact in pairs in an asynchronous way subject to the constraints expressed in terms of the cover times of agents. The cover time expresses the “frequency” of an agent to communicate with all the others and abstracts agent’s communication characteristics (e.g. moving speed/patterns, transmitting/receiving capabilities). We show that a phase clock is impossible in the model with only constant-state agents. Hence, we assume an existence of resource-unlimited agent - the base station.

The clock size and duration of each phase of the proposed phase clock tool are adjustable by the user. We provide application examples of this tool and demonstrate how it can simplify the design of protocols. In particular, it yields a solution to Group Mutual Exclusion problem.


population protocols self-stabilization cover time synchronization phase clock 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joffroy Beauquier
    • 1
  • Janna Burman
    • 2
  1. 1.University Paris Sud, LRI, UMR 8623Orsay
  2. 2.Dept. of Industrial Engineering & ManagementTechnionHaifaIsrael

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