CS Table: the Network Time Protocol

At this week's Computer Science Table (at noon on Friday, November 8, in Rosenfield 224A), we will discuss the Network Time Protocol. The reading is:

  • Mills, D. L. Internet time synchronization: the network time protocol. IEEE Transactions on Communications 39, no. 10, pp. 1482–1493.

The Network Time Protocol (NTP) uses a symmetric architecture in which a distributed subnet of time servers, operating in a self-organizing, hierarchical configuration, synchronizes local clocks within the subnet and to national time standards via wire, radio, or calibrated atomic clock. The servers can also redistribute time information within a network via local routing algorithms and time daemons. Performance data show that the NTP synchronization system ensures timekeeping accuracy throughout most portions of the Internet to within a few milliseconds, even in cases of failure or disruption of clocks, time servers, or networks.