Analysis and Design of Vehicular Networks
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Advances in computing and wireless communication technologies have increased interest in smart vehicles, vehicles equipped with significant computing, communication and sensing capabilities to provide services to travelers. Smart vehicles can be exploited to improve driving safety and comfort as well as optimize surface transportation systems. Wireless communications among vehicles and between vehicles and roadside infrastructures represent an important class of vehicle communications. One can envision creating an integrated radio network leveraging various wireless technologies that work together in a seamless fashion. Based on cost-performance tradeoffs, different network configurations may be appropriate for different environments. An understanding of the properties of different vehicular network architectures is absolutely necessary before services can be successfully deployed. Based on this understanding, efficient data services (e.g., data dissemination services) can be designed to accommodate application requirements. This thesis examines several research topics concerning both the evaluation and design of vehicular networks. We explore the properties of vehicle-to-vehicle (v2v) communications. We study the spatial propagation of information along the road using v2v communications. Our analysis identifies the vehicle traffic characteristics that significantly affect information propagation. We also evaluate the feasibility of propagating information along a highway. Several design alternatives exist to build infrastructure-based vehicular networks. Their characteristics have been evaluated in a realistic vehicular environment. Based on these evaluations, we have developed some insights into the design of future broadband vehicular networks capable of adapting to varying vehicle traffic conditions. Based on the above analysis, opportunistic forwarding that exploit vehicle mobility to overcome vehicular network partitioning appears to be a viable approach for data dissemination using v2v communications for applications that can tolerate some data loss and delay. We introduce a methodology to design enhanced opportunistic forwarding algorithms. Practical algorithms derived from this methodology have exhibited different performance/overhead tradeoffs. An in-depth understanding of wireless communication performance in a vehicular environment is necessary to provide the groundwork for realizing reliable mobile communication services. We have conducted an extensive set of field experiments to uncover the performance of short-range communications between vehicles and between vehicles and roadside stations in a specific highway scenario.