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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2017, Article ID 8932631, 13 pages
Review Article

Principles, Applications, and Challenges of Synchronization in Nature for Future Mobile Communication Systems

1Department of Electrical, Electronic and Control Engineering and the Institute for Information Technology Convergence, Hankyong National University, Anseong 17579, Republic of Korea
2School of the Electrical Engineering, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Jung-Ryun Lee;

Received 18 November 2016; Revised 13 December 2016; Accepted 22 December 2016; Published 22 January 2017

Academic Editor: Yujin Lim

Copyright © 2017 Hyun-Ho Choi and Jung-Ryun Lee. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In dynamic and complex natural environments, a number of individuals such as fireflies, flocks of birds, schools of fish, and pacemaker cells show various synchronization phenomena, with the purpose of achieving their certain goals in an efficient and distributed manner. So far, there has been considerable research attention on the working principles behind synchronization phenomena in nature and, as a result, various models and theoretical investigation have been developed to apply synchronization principles to various mobile communication systems. In this article, we present an exploration of synchronization phenomena in nature. Some representative models on synchronization are investigated and its working principles are analyzed. In addition, we survey some key applications inspired by synchronization principles for the future mobile communication systems. The characteristics and limitations of the applications inspired by synchronization in nature are evaluated in the context of the use of nature-inspired technologies. Finally, we provide the discussion of further research challenges for developing the advanced application of natural synchronization phenomena in the future mobile communication systems.