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A Border Node Based Routing Protocol for Partially Connected Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks

Mingliu Zhang and Richard S. Wolff
Montana State University/Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bozeman, USA

Abstract—Research on vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) has focused primarily on efficient routing protocol design under conditions where there are relatively large numbers of closely spaced vehicles, typical of major highways and urban areas. These routing protocols are designed principally for fully connected networks and are not suitable for packet delivery in a sparse, partially connected VANET. In rural areas, vehicle densities are low and roadway communication infrastructure is scarce, leading to long periods where vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-roadside communications is infrequent, interrupted, or simply not possible. These attributes characterize a sparse VANET, and are characteristic of delay tolerant networks (DTNs). In this paper, we examine the challenges of VANETs in sparse network conditions, review alternatives including epidemic routing and propose a Border node Based Routing (BBR) protocol for partially connected VANETs. Unlike many VANET protocols that assume location awareness or mobility patterns to aid in routing decisions, BBR is designed to function in domains where location and mobility information is not available, as is typical in rugged terrain conditions. The BBR protocol can tolerate network partition due to low node density and high node mobility. The performance of this protocol is evaluated in OPNETTM with a Random Waypoint mobility model and a Geographic and Traffic Information (GTI) based mobility model that captures typical highway conditions. The simulation results are compared with those obtained using the Dynamic Source Routing (DSR) protocol and with an epidemic routing protocol. The simulation results show that BBR performs well for partially connected VANETs where other protocols fail and provides the advantage of not relying on a location service required by other protocols proposed for VANETs. 

Index Terms—VANETs, ad hoc routing, sparse networks, delay tolerant networks

Cite: Mingliu Zhang and Richard S. Wolff, "Mingliu Zhang and Richard S. Wolff," Journal of Communications, vol. 5, no. 2, pp.130-143, 2010. Doi: 10.4304/jcm.5.2.130-143

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