Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Committee Director

Michele C. Weigle

Committee Member

Kurt Maly

Committee Member

Hussein Abdel-Wahab

Committee Member

Stephan Olariu

Committee Member

Dimitrie C. Popescu


Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) are a form of Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs) in which vehicles on the road form the nodes of the network. VANETs provide several services to enhance the safety and comfort of drivers and passengers. These services can be obtained by the wireless exchange of information among the vehicles driving on the road. In particular, the transmission of two different types of messages, safety/update and non-safety messages.

The transmission of safety/update message aims to inform the nearby vehicles about the sender's current status and/or a detected dangerous situation. This type of transmission is designed to help in accident and danger avoidance. Moreover, it requires high message generated rate and high reliability. On the other hand, the transmission of non-safety message aims to increase the comfort on vehicles by supporting several non-safety services, from notifications of traffic conditions to file sharing. Unfortunately, the transmission of non-safety message has less priority than safety messages, which may cause shutting down the comfort services. The goal of this dissertation is to design a MAC protocol in order to provide the ability of the transmission of non-safety message with little impact on the reliability of transmitting safety message even if the traffic and communication densities are high.

VANET is a highly dynamic network. With lack of specialized hardware for infrastructure and the mobility to support network stability and channel utilization, acluster-based MAC protocol is needed to solve these overcomes.

This dissertation makes the following contributions:

1. A multi-channel cluster-based TDMA MAC protocol to coordinate intracluster communications (TC-MAC)

2. A CH election and cluster formation algorithm based on the traffic flow and a cluster maintenance algorithm that benefits from our cluster formation algorithm

3. A multi-channel cluster-based CDNIA/TDMA hybrid MAC protocol to coordinate inter-cluster communications

I will show that TC-MAC provides better performance than the current WAVE standard in terms of safety/update message reliability and non-safety message delivery. Additionally, I will show that my clustering and cluster maintenance protocol provides more stable clusters, which will reduce the overhead of clusterhead election and re-clustering and leads to an efficient hierarchical network topology.


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