Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Like an orchestra without a conductor: Technology achieves synchronicity by itself

Date:
July 24, 2012
Source:
Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt | Graz | Wien
Summary:
Is it possible to sound all the church bells across the country at precisely the same time, without one central agent setting the rhythm? Indeed, it is. Future technologies, such as decentralized control mechanisms for motor vehicle traffic or robot swarms, will increasingly come to rely on the ability to function in a similarly synchronous manner. Researchers have now developed a new method of self-organizing synchronization and have delivered mathematical proof of the systems’ guaranteed ability to achieve synchrony under their own power.

Is it possible to sound all the church bells across the country at precisely the same time, without one central agent setting the rhythm? Indeed, it is. Future technologies, such as decentralized control mechanisms for motor vehicle traffic or robot swarms, will increasingly come to rely on the ability to function in a similarly synchronous manner. Researchers from Göttingen and Klagenfurt have now developed a new method of self-organising synchronisation and have delivered mathematical proof of the systems' guaranteed ability to achieve synchrony under their own power.

Orchestras, just like mobile telephone networks, rely on central agents that are responsible for the coordination effort. Both might experience errors: If the conductor or the mobile phone base stations are out of action for any reason, musicians and mobile phones come to a standstill. Self-organising systems offer a solution to this problem. Rather than transmitting mobile phone signals using base stations, the application allows individual mobile phones to forward signals to other mobile phones in their vicinity.

However, this collaboration of devices can only work, if their signals are synchronised. Matching models and computer simulations have been existing for many years. But only now has it been mathematically proven beyond any doubt, that such a system always synchronizes. The essential parts of the algorithm will be published in the New Journal of Physics at the end of July. Additionally, the authors, Johannes Klinglmayr and Christian Bettstetter of the Alpen-Adria-Universität, as well as Christoph Kirst and Marc Timme from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, have filed a corresponding patent applications.

Using the example of church bells, Johannes Klinglmayr illustrates the method: "Imagine, that none of the sacristans has a watch, and there is no central location, that dictates the time. The set of rules that we have developed would nevertheless allow all the bells to chime simultaneously." Thanks to the newly developed method, an incremental adjustment of the time setting takes place at each location in reaction to the signals received. Consequently, after a number of chimes, all church bells sound in synchrony. The essential innovative aspect of this invention is that the method guarantees synchronicity, regardless of the time at the initial church watches. Synchrony is achieved even though some signals are not received or not heard. According to Marc Timme, the idea can be applied in a wide variety of technologies: „Groups of robots could work together to solve problems at distributed locations, making use of this ability to synchronize each other and thus coordinate."

The findings resulted from a collaboration between the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (Institute of Networked and Embedded Systems, Lakeside Labs) and the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization Göttingen (Network Dynamics Group).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt | Graz | Wien. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Johannes Klinglmayr, Christoph Kirst, Christian Bettstetter, Marc Timme. Guaranteeing global synchronization in networks with stochastic interactions. New Journal of Physics, 2012; 14 (7): 073031 DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/14/7/073031

Cite This Page:

Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt | Graz | Wien. "Like an orchestra without a conductor: Technology achieves synchronicity by itself." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724104135.htm>.
Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt | Graz | Wien. (2012, July 24). Like an orchestra without a conductor: Technology achieves synchronicity by itself. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724104135.htm
Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt | Graz | Wien. "Like an orchestra without a conductor: Technology achieves synchronicity by itself." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724104135.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Facebook Says The DEA's Fake Accounts Go Too Far

Facebook Says The DEA's Fake Accounts Go Too Far

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) — Facebook says the DEA violated its Terms of Service and that such impersonations damage the integrity of the site. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Push Back After FBI Suggests Less Encryption

Tech Giants Push Back After FBI Suggests Less Encryption

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) — FBI Director James Comey's stance on encryption technology isn't receiving much support from the tech community. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Sweden Hunts For Sub, "Cold War" Comparisons Flourish

As Sweden Hunts For Sub, "Cold War" Comparisons Flourish

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) — With Sweden on the look-out for a suspected Russian sub, a lot of people are talking about the Cold War, but is it an apt comparison? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) — In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins