Adaptive globally-synchronizing clock algorithm and its implementation on a Myrinet-based PC cluster

Cheng Liao, Margaret Rose Martonosi, Douglas W. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Fast commodity network-connected PC or workstation clusters are becoming more and more popular. This popularity can be attributed to their ability to provide high-performance parallel computing on a relatively inexpensive platform. An accurate global clock is invaluable for these systems, both for measuring network performance and coordinating distributed applications. Typically, however, these systems do not include dedicated clock synchronization support. Previous clock synchronization methods are not fully suitable to them, either due to their non-commodity hardware requirements or due to insufficient synchronized clock accuracy. In this paper we present and evaluate an adaptive clock synchronization algorithm. We have implemented and tested the algorithm on a Myrinet-based PC cluster. The algorithm has several important features. First, it does not require any extra hardware support. Second, we show that this algorithm places very low intrusion on the system and has a microsecond-level accuracy. Finally, our results indicate that adding the ability to adaptively adjust the clock's re-synchronization period causes almost no extra overhead while achieving a much better global clock accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-201
Number of pages2
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems, ACM SIGMETRICS '99 - Atlata, GA, USA
Duration: May 1 1999May 4 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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