Down the Block and Around the Corner -- The Impact of Radio Propagation on Inter-vehicle Wireless Communication
John S. Otto, Fabián E. Bustamante and Randall A. Berry
In Proc. of IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), June 2009.
Evanston, IL 60201, USA
Vehicular networks are emerging as a new distributed system environment with myriad possible applications. Most studies on vehicular networks are carried out via simulation, given the logistical and economical problems with large-scale deployments. This paper investigates the impact of realistic radio propagation settings on the evaluation of VANET-based systems. Using a set of instrumented cars, we collected IEEE 802.11b signal propagation measurements between vehicles in a variety of urban and suburban environments. We found that signal propagation between vehicles varies in different settings, especially between line-of-sight ("down the block") and non line-of-sight ("around the corner") communication in the same setting. Using a probabilistic shadowing model, we evaluate the impact of different parameter settings on the performance of an epidemic data dissemination protocol and discuss the implications of our findings. We also suggest a variation of a basic signal propagation model that incorporates additional realism without sacrificing scalability by taking advantage of environmental information, including node locations and street information.