Date of Award

Winter 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering and Technology

Committee Director

Min Song

Committee Member

Linda L. Vahala

Committee Member

Frederic D. McKenzie

Committee Member

Michele C. Weigle


The goal of this dissertation is the presentation of supporting protocols for structuring and intelligent data dissemination in vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs). The protocols are intended to first introduce a structure in VANETs, and thus promote the spatial reuse of network resources. Segmenting a flat VANET in multiple cluster structures allows for more efficient use of the available bandwidth, which can effectively increase the capacity of the network. The cluster structures can also improve the scalability of the underlying communication protocols. The structuring and maintenance of the network introduces additional overhead. The aim is to provide a mechanism for creating stable cluster structures in VANETs, and to minimize this associated overhead. Further a hybrid overlay-based geocast protocol for VANETs is presented. The protocol utilizes a backbone overlay virtual infrastructure on top of the physical network to provide geocast support, which is crucial for intervehicle communications since many applications provide group-oriented and location-oriented services. The final contribution is a structureless information dissemination scheme which creates a layered view of road conditions with a diminishing resolution as the viewing distance increases. Namely, the scheme first provides a high-detail local view of a given vehicle's neighbors and its immediate neighbors, which is further extended when information dissemination is employed. Each vehicle gets aggregated information for road conditions beyond this extended local view. The scheme allows for the preservation of unique reports within aggregated frames, such that safety critical notifications are kept in high detail, all for the benefit of the driver's improved decision making during emergency scenarios.