AMS Seminar: Enrique Mallada Garcia (JHU) @ Whitehead 304

November 30, 2017 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Title: Distributed Synchronization in Engineering Networks


This talk presents a systematic study of synchronization on distributed (networked) systems that spans from theoretical modeling and stability analysis to distributed controller design, implementation and verification. We first focus on developing a theoretical foundation for synchronization of networked oscillators. We study how the interaction type (coupling) and network configuration (topology) affect the behavior of a population of heterogeneous coupled oscillators. Unlike existing literature that restricts to specific scenarios, we show that phase consensus (common phase value) can be achieved for arbitrary network topologies under very general conditions on the oscillators’ model.

We then focus on more practical aspects of synchronization on computer networks. Unlike existing solutions that tend to rely on expensive hardware to improve accuracy, we provide a novel algorithm that reduces jitter by synchronizing networked computers without estimating the frequency difference between clocks (skew) or introducing offset corrections. We show that a necessary and sufficient condition on the network topology for synchronization (in the presence of noise) is the existence of a unique leader in the communication graph. A Linux-based implementation on a cluster of IBM BladeCenter servers experimentally verifies that the proposed algorithm outperforms well-established solutions and that loops can help reduce jitter.


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