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Cellular-Assisted Vehicular Communications: A Stochastic Geometric Approach
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A major component of future communication systems is vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, in which vehicles along roadways transfer information directly among themselves and with roadside infrastructure. Despite its numerous potential advantages, V2V communication suffers from one inherent shortcoming: the stochastic and time-varying nature of the node distributions in a vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) often leads to loss of connectivity and lower coverage. One possible way to improve this coverage is to allow the vehicular nodes to connect to the more reliable cellular network, especially in cases of loss of connectivity in the vehicular network. In this thesis, we analyze this possibility of boosting performance of VANETs, especially their node coverage, by taking assistance from the cellular network. The spatial locations of the vehicular nodes in a VANET exhibit a unique characteristic: they always lie on roadways, which are predominantly linear but are irregularly placed on a two dimensional plane. While there has been a signifcant work on modeling wireless networks using random spatial models, most of it uses homogeneous planar Poisson Point Process (PPP) to maintain tractability, which is clearly not applicable to VANETs. Therefore, to accurately capture the spatial distribution of vehicles in a VANET, we model the roads using the so called Poisson Line Process and then place vehicles randomly on each road according to a one-dimensional homogeneous PPP. As is usually the case, the locations of the cellular base stations are modeled by a planar two-dimensional PPP. Therefore, in this thesis, we propose a new two-tier model for cellular-assisted VANETs, where the cellular base stations form a planar PPP and the vehicular nodes form a one-dimensional PPP on roads modeled as undirected lines according to a Poisson Line Process. The key contribution of this thesis is the stochastic geometric analysis of a maximum power-based cellular-assisted VANET scheme, in which a vehicle receives information from either the nearest vehicle or the nearest cellular base station, based on the received power. We have characterized the network interference and obtained expressions for coverage probability in this cellular-assisted VANET, and successfully demonstrated that using this switching technique can provide a significant improvement in coverage and thus provide better vehicular network performance in the future. In addition, this thesis also analyzes two threshold-distance based schemes which trade off network coverage for a reduction in additional cellular network load; notably, these schemes also outperform traditional vehicular networks that do not use any cellular assistance. Thus, this thesis mathematically validates the possibility of improving VANET performance using cellular networks.
- Masters Theses