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CoSiNeT: A Lightweight Clock Synchronization Algorithm for Industrial IoT
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6942-4229
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2018-0996
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7159-7508
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2419-2735
2021 (English)In: IEEE International Conference on Industrial Cyber-Physical Systems ICPS 2021, 2021Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Recent advances in industrial internet of things~(IIoT) and cyber-physical systems drive Industry 4.0 and lead to advanced applications. The adequate performance of time-critical automation applications depends on a clock synchronization scheme used by control systems. Network packet delay variations adversely impact the clock synchronization performance. The impact is significant in industrial sites, where software and hardware resources heavily contribute to delay variations, and where harsh environmental conditions interfere with communication network dynamics. While existing time synchronization methods for IIoT devices, e.g., Simple Network Time Protocol~(SNTP), provide adequate synchronization in good operating conditions, their performance degrades significantly with deteriorating network conditions. To overcome this issue, we propose a scalable, software-based, lightweight clock synchronization method, called CoSiNeT, for IIoT devices that maintains precise synchronization performance in a wide range of operating conditions. We have conducted measurements in local network deployments such as home and a university campus in order to evaluate the proposed algorithm performance. The results show that CoSiNeT matches well with SNTP and state-of-the-art method in good network conditions in terms of accuracy and precision; however, it outperforms them in degrading network scenarios. In our measurements, in fair network conditions, CoSiNeT improves synchronization performance by 23% and 25% compared to SNTP and state-of-the-art method. In the case of poor network conditions, it improves performance by 43% and 26%, respectively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021.
Keywords [en]
Clock Synchronization, Industrial Automation, Cyber-physical systems, Industrial internet of things, Wireless networks, SNTP, NTP, Round Trip Delay
National Category
Engineering and Technology Computer Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-53972DOI: 10.1109/ICPS49255.2021.9468174Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85112365768ISBN: 978-1-7281-6207-2 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-53972DiVA, id: diva2:1558308
Conference
IEEE International Conference on Industrial Cyber-Physical Systems ICPS 2021, 10 May 2021, Victoria, Canada
Projects
Future Industrial NetworksAvailable from: 2021-05-28 Created: 2021-05-28 Last updated: 2023-10-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Investigating Software-based Clock Synchronization for Industrial Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigating Software-based Clock Synchronization for Industrial Networks
2021 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A rising level of industrialization and advances in Industry 4.0 have resulted in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) gaining immense significance in today’s industrial automation systems. IIoT promises to achieve improved productivity, reliability, and revenues by connecting time-constrained embedded systems to “the Internet”. New opportunities bring with them challenges, and in particular for industrial networks, massively interconnected IIoT devices communicating in real-time,  require synchronized operation of devices for the ordering of information collected throughout a  network. Thus,   a   time or clock synchronization service that aligns the devices’ clocks in the network to ensure accurate timestamping and orderly event executions, has gained great importance. Achieving adequate clock synchronization in the industrial domain is challenging due to heterogeneous communication networks and exposure to harsh environmental conditions bringing interference to the communication networks. The investigative study based on existing literature and the envisioned architecture of the future industrial automation system unveils that the key requirements for future industrial networks are to have a cost-effective, accurate, scalable, secured, easy to deploy and maintain clock synchronization solution. Today’s industrial automation systems employ clock synchronization solutions from a wide plethora of hardware and software based solutions. The most economical, highly scalable, maintainable software-based clock synchronization means are best candidates for the identified future requirements as their lack in accuracy compared to hardware solutions could be compensated by predictive software strategies.

 Thus, the thesis’s overall goal is to enhance the accuracy of software-based clock synchronization in heterogeneous industrial networks using predictable software strategies. The first step towards developing an accurate clock synchronization for heterogeneous industrial networks with real-time requirements is to investigate communication parameters affecting time synchronization accuracy. Towards this goal, we investigated actual industrial network data for packet delay profiles and their impact on clock synchronization performance.  We further analyzed wired and wireless local area networks to identify key network parameters for clock synchronization and proposed an enhanced clock synchronization algorithm CoSiNeT for field IoT devices in industrial networks. CoSiNeT matches well with state-of-the-practice SNTP and state-of-the-art method SPoT in good network conditions in terms of accuracy and precision;  however,  it outperforms them in scenarios with degrading network conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2021
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 311
Keywords
Clock synchronization, Industrial networks, Internet of things, Industry 4.0
National Category
Telecommunications
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-56095 (URN)978-91-7485-526-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2021-12-10, Gamma, Västerås, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Vinnova, 16491
Available from: 2021-10-05 Created: 2021-10-05 Last updated: 2021-12-30Bibliographically approved
2. Improving Clock Synchronization Performance in Industrial Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improving Clock Synchronization Performance in Industrial Networks
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The recent advances in cyber-physical systems and industrial internet-of-things (IIoT) have enabled the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) worlds of industrial automation systems achieving higher productivity, reliability, and revenues. The availability of business-critical and production-critical data on the converged network has enabled new and advanced network-centric applications that require time-constrained embedded devices to be connected to “the internet.'' The massively interconnected IIoT devices communicating in real-time require a accurate, scalable, easy-to-deploy, and cost-effective clock synchronization service for the ordering of information collected throughout a network. Thus, a time or clock synchronization service that aligns the devices' clocks in the network to ensure accurate timestamping and orderly event executions, has gained great importance. The industrial networks are heterogeneous in nature, where various grades of hardware resources along with varied software complexities operate in average to extremely harsh and hostile environments. The heterogeneity and the huge number of devices make it challenging to achieve an adequate level of clock synchronization in industrial networks with existing hardware and software-based solutions. For this reason, the thesis aims to enhance the accuracy of the most-economical, highly scalable, and easy-to-deploy software-based clock synchronization in wired industrial networks with the hypothesis that predictive software strategies can compensate for their lack of accuracy.

The first step towards this goal is to identify the industrial network characteristics essential for improving clock synchronization. The analysis of real network data from an industrial site confirmed that packet delay variation (PDV) could assure the clock synchronization performance in an industrial network. Using signal processing-based PDV compensation methods, we propose enhanced clock synchronization algorithms, namely, 'CoSiNeT' and 'CoSiWiNet' for local and wide area industrial networks. Based on the analysis in real networks, both algorithms outperform state-of-the-practice and state-of-the-art methods in degrading network scenarios. Once the significance of PDV in synchronization performance has been confirmed, the next step is identifying the network parameters significantly affecting PDV. The thesis provides a network calculus-based PDV analysis of synchronization messages in a multi-stage wired packet-switched network under the presence of stochastic  background traffic. The analysis, based on a closed-form, end-to-end probabilistic analytical model of PDV, identifies the network parameters that significantly affect PDV. It further unveils the significant relationship between PDV incurred by synchronization messages and the rate, burstiness of background network traffic parameters. Bounding the PDV or jitter under a certain level can be beneficial for applications such as synchronization, where PDV is a significant decider of assured performance. A Sigma traffic shaper is proposed to maintain PDV under limits by controlling the rate of incoming background traffic at the ingress port of the network. We further estimate the probability of a synchronization message loss due to the shaper, given the finite buffers available at network stages. The loss probability estimation is a vital trade-off tool that can be utilized to fix the limiting rate for a desired PDV maintenance. Finally, we extend the PDV analysis to predict the probabilistic clock synchronization accuracy bound for given network conditions. The performance analysis conducted with proposed configurations showed that limiting the arrival traffic rate to 50% resulted in PDV levels and in turn synchronization accuracy being reduced from a few milliseconds to a few microseconds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen university, 2023
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 389
Keywords
Clock synchronization, Industrial networks, Internet of things, Industry 4.0, Network Calculus
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-64472 (URN)978-91-7485-612-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-11-28, Kappa, Mälardalens universitet, Västerås, 14:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-10-09 Created: 2023-10-06 Last updated: 2023-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Gore, Rahul NandkumarLisova, ElenaÅkerberg, JohanBjörkman, Mats

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