Distributive Network Time Synchronization (DNTS): A Simulation Model for Computer Networks


Synchronization 1n communication networks, referred to as network synchronization, is basically the distribution of time to all nodes in the network. An innovative model for network time synchronization is discussed for any applicable type of computer network, such as local area network, a satellite communication network, etc. A computer network is a high-speed communications medium shared by many computing systems. The nodes or entities of the network synchronize and distribute the Time Of Day (TOD) mainly for communication systems. Three types of network synchronization are briefly discussed: plesiochronous, master-slave, and mutual synchronous networks. In this thesis, a functional model of a mutual synchronous network is described. A simulation is designed so the communication network references only its TOD through a unique software algorithm. The simulation is entitled Distributive Network Time Synchronization (DNTS). An advantage of DNTS is that it does not need any external hardware devices such as a master clock, for network time synchronization. Each network node has an equivalent influence in synchronization. In the DNTS algorithm, the initial TOD offsets do not affect the synchronizing of the network. Moreover, DNTS will synchronize to any network configuration because the number of links and the number of nodes are inputs to the algorithm. Also, the loss or addition of nodes does not interrupt the synchronization of the network. A central time reference and hardware calibration and repair are unnecessary because the DNTS algorithm is exclusively software driven. The fundamental, algorithmic design techniques of DNTS are divided into three steps: • Initially and upon reset, all nodes of the computer network are in a state of Total Time Uncertainty. Some nodes TOD may be independent and different from their neighboring, connected node's TOD references. Eventually, a convergence or synchronous TOD for the network is established. • After some link connections between nodes, the DNTS algorithm distributes the TODs to all nodal clocks in the network. The computer network converges to the established TOD reference. • Ultimately, a Time Reference is established and the entire network has one synchronous, concurrent TOD among its independent nodal clocks. DNTS simulates a realistic environment where practical design issues are taken into consideration, such as the addition of new nodes. The DNTS algorithm is designed with the Ada programming language on the Harris HCX-9 computer system. The HCX-9 runs on the UNIX operation system with the Harris Ada Programming Support Environment (HAPSE). The DNTS algorithm is verified and validated by a program and by plots of the simulation results.


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Graduation Date





Linton, Darrell G.


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering


Computer Engineering





Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering; Engineering -- Dissertations, Academic

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