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Recent Advances in Clock Synchronization for Packet-Switched Networks

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Clock synchronization is a mechanism for providing a standard reference time to various devices across a distributed network. It is critical in modern computer networks because every aspect of managing, securing, planning, and debugging a network involves determining when particular events happen. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are a popular mechanism for achieving synchronization, but these are not always practical in network systems. This monograph concentrates on a technique called Network Time Distribution which is often more cost-effective than GPS-based timing, as it does not require any dedicated hardware and can often make use of the existing network resources for synchronizing devices across the network. The technique uses a master/slave construction to synchronize the time throughout devices on a network. To do this, two-way message exchange is required which can be subject to network delays. The authors present recent developments to combat the degrading effects of stochastic delays for clock synchronization protocols based on two-way message exchange. While the techniques presented in the monograph apply to many applications and any clock synchronization protocol based on two-way message exchanges, the authors mainly discuss the applications in the context of IEEE 1588 PTP standard applied to telecommunication networks. Recent Advances in Clock Synchronization for Packet-Switched Networks is of interest to telecommunication engineers designing and building a broad range of telecommunication systems. It provides an introduction to the theory as well as practical results for implementation in real-world systems.

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