Gossip Networks: The Enabler for Sparsely Populated VANETs
The future deployment of safety-oriented Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) technology may be hindered due to the so-called “Market Penetration” problem: as a wireless network built from scratch, there is lack of value to consumers who are early adopters. In this paper, we explore potential applications that can be supported during the initial phase of vehicular ad-hoc network (VANET) deployment, i.e., sparsely populated VANETs. We show that delay-insensitive information sharing applications are promising since they only require opportunistic network connections (in contrast to safety applications that require “always on” connectivity). This is done via “gossip spread” information distribution protocols by which DSRC vehicles cache and then exchange the information while in range of other DSRC vehicles or road side units. This approach is especially attractive since the number of communicating vehicles will be very small during early deployment years.