A survey of cross-layer design for VANETs

Recently, vehicular communication systems have attracted much attention, fueled largely by the growing interest in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). These systems are aimed at addressing critical issues like passenger safety and traffic congestion, by integrating information and communication technologies into transportation infrastructure and vehicles. They are built on top of self organizing networks, known as a Vehicular Ad hoc Networks (VANET), composed of mobile vehicles connected by wireless links. While the solutions based on the traditional layered communication system architectures such as OSI model are readily applicable, they often fail to address the fundamental problems in ad hoc networks, such as dynamic changes in the network topology. Furthermore, many ITS applications impose stringent QoS requirements, which are not met by existing ad hoc networking solutions. The paradigm of cross-layer design has been introduced as an alternative to pure layered design to develop communication protocols. Cross-layer design allows information to be exchanged and shared across layer boundaries in order to enable efficient and robust protocols. There has been several research efforts that validated the importance of cross-layer design in vehicular networks. In this article, a survey of recent work on cross-layer communication solutions for VANETs is presented. Major approaches to cross-layer protocol design is introduced, followed by an overview of corresponding cross-layer protocols. Finally, open research problems in developing efficient cross-layer protocols for next generation transportation systems are discussed.

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