ticysync

TICSync is an extremely efficient algorithm for learning the mapping between distributed clocks, which typically achieves better than millisecond accuracy within just a few seconds. Crucially it also provides a probabilistic bound on its accuracy, allowing for rapid detection of clock upsets.

Modern robotic systems are composed of many distributed processes sharing a common communications infrastructure. High bandwidth sensor data is often collected on one computer and served to many consumers. It is vital that every device on the network agrees on how time is measured. If not, sensor data may be at best inconsistent and at worst useless. Typical clocks in consumer grade computers are highly inaccurate and temperature sensitive. We argue that traditional approaches to clock synchronization, such as the use of NTP are inappropriate in the robotics context.

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  • [PDF] A. Harrison and P. Newman, “TICSync: Knowing When Things Happened,” in Proc. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA2011), Shanghai, China, 2011.
    [Bibtex]

    @inproceedings{HarrisonTICSync,
    Address = {Shanghai, China},
    Author = {Alastair Harrison and Paul Newman},
    Booktitle = {Proc. {IEEE} International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA2011)},
    Keywords = {TICSync,timing},
    Month = {May},
    Note = {05},
    Owner = {arh},
    Pdf = {http://www.robots.ox.ac.uk/~mobile/Papers/2011ICRA_arh.pdf},
    Timestamp = {2011.01.20},
    Title = {TICSync: Knowing When Things Happened},
    Year = {2011}}