In South-East Asia, huge swarms of fireflies synchronously emit light flashes to attract mating partners. The underlying principle can be used to implement a robust and scalable distributed synchronization approach in wireless sensor networks.
In this work we implement the Firefly Algorithm on battery-powered low-cost wireless nodes to establish a time-triggered network with a global notion of time. This global notion of time is used by the protocol but also provides a service that can be used by real-time applications. The synchronized nodes perform a time-triggered communication, where the sending instant of each message is known a priori to all nodes. This enables the implementation of an energy-efficient low duty-cycle protocol, where sender and receiver units can be turned off during silent phases.
R. Leidenfrost and W. Elmenreich. Establishing wireless time-triggered communication using a firefly clock synchronization approach. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Intelligent Solutions in Embedded Systems, pages 227–244, Regensburg, Germany, July 2008.