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Congestion Control Framework for Disseminating Safety Messages in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs)

Mohamad Yusof Bin Darus, Kamarulnizam Abu Bakar


International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications. Volume 5, Number 2, February 2011

Congestion Control Framework for Disseminating Safety Messages in


Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs)
1
Mohamad Yusof Bin Darus, 2Kamarulnizam Abu Bakar
1, First Author
University Technology of MARA, yusof@tmsk.uitm.edu.my
*2, Corresponding Author
University Technology of Malaysia, knizam@utm.my
doi:10.4156/jdcta.vol5. issue2.20.

Abstract
The purpose of this study is to propose a new congestion control framework for uni-priority of
event-driven safety messages in VANETs. The uni-priority congestion is caused by the traffic of the
same priority. Many of event-driven safety applications developed for VANETs is required real-time
communication with high reliability and must be delivered before certain time deadline. In high load
traffic, the CCH communication channel easily congested. Many studies [2,10,11,12] recommended
congestion control approach to control the load and congestion on the wireless channel in VANETs.
Our proposed congestion control will reserve the CCH communication channel for event-driven safety
messages if the number of safety messages in the queue exceeds a defined threshold or the congestion
control detect event-driven safety message. In normal traffic, the CCH communication channel is not
reserve for event-driven safety messages. This research will adapt priority-based Earliest Deadline
First (EDF) scheduling algorithms in proposed congestion control to schedule uni-priority of event-
driven safety messages. In addition, to provide reliability performance for event-driven safety messages,
we will develop a new rebroadcasting scheme to prevent broadcast storm. In next phase of study, we
plan to test and evaluate performance of our congestion control approach using network simulator e.g.
NS-3.

Keywords: VANETs, IEEE 802.11p, CSMA/CA, Congestion Control, Safety Messages.

1. Introduction
VANETs are composed of vehicles equipped with advanced wireless communication devices
without any base stations. Each vehicle equipped with VANETs device will be a node in the ad-hoc
network and can receive and transmit others messages through the wireless network. This type of
networks can provide wide variety of services such as Information Transportation System (ITS). The
safety application is one of the most important application in ITS. For example, if a vehicle detects
road accident, it will inform other neighboring vehicles about this road accident [4, 5]. The safety
messages must to be delivered to each neighboring node with almost no delays. A single delayed or
lost event-driven safety messages could result in loss of life. Basically, we can divide safety
applications in two types; periodic (beacon) safety messages and event-driven safety messages.
The periodic safety message exchange is preventive in nature, and its objective is to avoid the
occurrence of dangerous situations. The periodic safety messages may contain information regarding
the position, direction, and speed of vehicles. The event-driven safety message may be generated as a
result of a dangerous situation or when an abnormal condition is detected such as road accident [4, 5].
The event-driven safety messages disseminated within a certain area with high priority. The event-
driven safety messages usually have strong reliability and need to be delivered to each neighbor with
almost no delays. Both of these safety messages will send through one single channel kwon as Control
Channel (CCH). The Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) has allocated the frequency
spectrum between 5.580 and 5.925 GHz for Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) in
VANETs. The DSRC spectrum is divided into seven (7) 10MHz channels range from 3 to 27 Mbps.
The central channel (channel 178) is the control channel (CCH) [11], which is restricted to safety
communications only, as shown in Figure 1.
In dense network, a large number of vehicles broadcasts beacon safety messages at a high
frequency or event-driven messages are broadcast multiple times, the communication channel will
easily get congested. This situation will decrease a throughput while delay is increasing significantly.

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Congestion Control Framework for Disseminating Safety Messages in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs)
Mohamad Yusof Bin Darus, Kamarulnizam Abu Bakar
International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications. Volume 5, Number 2, February 2011

On the other hand, the simplest way of broadcasting beacon safety messages to all nodes is by using
blind flooding. Each node that receives the packets will rebroadcast this packet and will lead the
broadcast storm.

Figure 1. The channels for IEEE 802.11p

VANETs are based on the Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA)
scheme [3,5,8]. Because of the shared wireless medium and blindly broadcasting the packets may lead
to frequent contention and collisions in transmission among neighboring nodes. Moreover, a node can
experience very long channel access delay due to the risk of the channel being busy during its listening
period messages [2]. In dense network, this will affect the reliability and performance of safety
applications.
This research paper aims to design a new scalable congestion control framework to provide
reliability for disseminating event-driven safety messages. We also develop efficient rebroadcasting
scheme to prevent broadcast storm problem. This paper only focuses on uni-priority of event-driven
safety messages. The uni-priority congestion is caused by the traffic of the same priority, typically the
warning messages of safety applications from different transmitters.

2. Problem Statements
The IEEE 802.11p/WAVE (Wireless Access Vehicular Environment) has been proposed as
standard use for VANETs. The function of WAVE is to provide safety messages are carried over a
dedicated control channel (CCH), while non-safety messages can be delivered over one of a set of
available service channels (SCHs) [3]. The IEEE 802.11p physical layer is based on OFDM
(Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing) which provides for multi channel access scheme. These
channels access provide for multi channel operation to deliver various safety messages and non-safety
messages to vehicles on the roadway. The IEEE 802.11p MAC layer has the same core mechanism of
the Enhanced Distributed Channel Access (EDCA) specified in 802.11e, which is based on the
CSMA/CA scheme [3, 18]. In CSMA/CA, as soon as a node receives a packet that is to be sent, it
checks to be sure the channel is idle or not. If the channel is idle, then the packet is sent. If the channel
is busy, the node defers its transmission until it becomes idle [1, 16].
However, owing to the nature of contention based channel access scheme, the IEEE 802.11p system
suffers from Quality of Service (QoS) degradation for applications caused by the channel congestion in
dense network [8]. In dense network, vehicles are supposed to issue high numbers of periodic safety
messages periodically to announce other vehicles about their situations (e.g. speed, positioning and
direction) and the CCH channel will easily get congested. On the other hand, this phenomenon will
lead the broadcast storm and the hidden terminal problems [13].
The dissemination of event-driven safety messages to all vehicles is a crucial problem in traffic
scenario such as for instance in case of accident. The dissemination of event-driven safety messages
may prevent secondary accidents. So, it is very important to keep the CCH channel free from
congestion in order to ensure timely and reliable delivery of critical event-driven safety messages. In
order to avoid delay and low throughput of event-driven safety messages because of contention
communication channels, a reliable and efficient a congestion control framework is needed.

3. Related Works
In VANETs, the main challenge of the communication which will lead to the frequent end-to-end
transmission delay and reliability issue of safety messages [11].

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Congestion Control Framework for Disseminating Safety Messages in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs)
Mohamad Yusof Bin Darus, Kamarulnizam Abu Bakar
International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications. Volume 5, Number 2, February 2011

One of the important aspects with future of VANETs is to maintain the efficiency network
operation while preventing degradation of wireless channels communication because of expected
amount of data generated by vehicles in dense network. Some of researchers challenges on develop
congestion control approaches in VANETs are introduced in [2, 9, 10, 11, 14]. By controlling the load
a saturated channel conditions and their negative impact on performance of wireless channels
communication will be avoided.
Mostly research in congestion control [2, 9, 11] focused on comfort applications such as browsing
Internet, multimedia etc. However research from [10] concentrated on safety messages. The safety
application is important to improve the safety level of passengers by exchanging safety relevant
information between vehicles.
Research from [11] explored concepts and proposed a good framework for congestion control for
safety messages in VANETs. To deal with congestion in data networks, they proposed three steps are
taken in sequence:
a. Monitor networks and detect congestion
b. Pass congestion information to protocol instances
c. Adjust system operation to cope with congestion.
They also believe it is necessary that each node takes both the following two approaches in a
distributed way:
a. Reactive approach: reduce network load in response to locally obtained feedback from
the network.
b. Proactive approach: reduce network load irrespective of the network load in order to
prevent congestion from happening in the first place
They proposed congestion control architecture illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Congestion Control Framework

Some of researcher considers the utility of packets an important part in congestion control [2, 9]. In
research [9], they proposed a novel concept for utility-based congestion control and packet forwarding
in VANETs. This protocol called as decentralized Utility-Based Packet Forwarding and Congestion
Control (UBPFCC) is implemented on top of the IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol. The control algorithm
uses an application-specific utility function and encodes the quantitative utility information in each
transmitted data packet in a transparent way for all users within a local environment. A decentralized
algorithm then calculates the "average utility value" of each individual node based on the utility of its
data packets and assigns a share of the available data rate proportional to the relative priority. While
research in [2] applied message utility one of dynamic factor, according to the number of its
retransmissions by the neighborhood.

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Congestion Control Framework for Disseminating Safety Messages in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs)
Mohamad Yusof Bin Darus, Kamarulnizam Abu Bakar
International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications. Volume 5, Number 2, February 2011

Most of studies in congestion control set a threshold to detect congestion in communication


channels (2, 10, 14]. For example [10] applied channel usage level as threshold. Each device
periodically senses the channel usage level, and detects the congestion whenever the measured channel
usage level exceeds the predefined threshold. Research from [2] set a queue length as threshold. If the
queue length exceeds a threshold, congestion is indicated and the preceding node is notified in order to
decrease its transmission rate. However [14] set channel occupancy time as threshold. If channel
occupancy time measured at a node in CCH is longer than a given threshold, all beacon messages will
be blocked immediately.
Some of researchers was developed a congestion control approach based on the concept of dynamic
priorities-based scheduling [2]. The purpose of dynamic priorities-based scheduling is to ensure a
reliable and safe communications architecture within VANET. In this research, they evaluated dynamic
priority based on three factors:
a. Node Speed Consideration
b. Message Utility Consideration
c. Message Validity Consideration
The dynamic scheduling periodically each node triggers a rescheduling process, consisting of
scanning the messages queues, and computing the overall priority indicator for each message (taking
into account the dynamic factor of each priority). The rescheduling process then reorders the messages
according to their new computed priorities.

4. Framework of Congestion Control


We will design a new scalable congestion control framework to drawback delay, reliability and
broadcast storm problem in disseminating event-driven safety messages. This congestion control
framework can be divided into three main parts:

4.1. Congestion Detection and Congestion Control.

The purpose of the congestion detection is to monitor network communication channels and detect
congestions. Two kinds of congestion detection methods in our congestion control approach are event-
driven detection and measurement-based detection. The event-driven detection method monitors the
safety messages and decides to start the congestion control whenever a high priority safety message is
detected. The algorithm for event-driven detection taken from [10] without modification and can be
expressed with pseudo code in figure 3:

/* Congestion Control with Queue freezing */


If ((A safety message is locally generated) or (A safety message is
received from another station))
{
Freeze all MAC queues except for the safety queue;
}

Figure 3. Pseudo Code of Event-Driven Detection

While the measurement-based congestion detection will monitor CCH channel communication
based on packets channel queues. The CCH channel is congested if the number of messages in the
queue exceeds a defined threshold. Nodes can have up to eight queues of which each represents a
different Access Category (AC), which is often also referred to as Traffic Category (TC) [12]. We will
develop scalable congestion control if CCH channel was congested. This algorithm will be expressed
with pseudo code in figure 4:

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Congestion Control Framework for Disseminating Safety Messages in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs)
Mohamad Yusof Bin Darus, Kamarulnizam Abu Bakar
International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications. Volume 5, Number 2, February 2011

/* Congestion Control with Scalable Congestion */


if (Packet Queue > Threshold ) and (Safety messages detected) {
Freeze all MAC queues except for the safety queues based on EDF scheduling
}
Else {
if (Packet Queue > Threshold ) {
Reserve CCH channel for event-driven safety messages
}
Else {

if (Packet Queue < Threshold) and (Safety message detected){


All MAC queues access channel based on EDF scheduling
}
}
}

Figure 4. Pseudo Code of Measurement-Based Detection

4.2. Scheduling Algorithm.

Our congestion approach focused on uni-priority packets of event-driven safety messages. This
research will adapt priority-based Earliest Deadline First (EDF) scheduling algorithms to schedule uni-
priority of event-driven safety messages. The EDF scheduling is one of the classic scheduling for real-
time systems based on their deadline. The EDF based approach is one of the best approaches
introduced for rule scheduling till now [19].
In VANETs, each packet has an assigned priority and deadline (maximum latency). The scheduler
simply transmits packets in the order of increasing remaining deadlines and priority-based EDF
scheduling algorithms serve the packets according to their priorities and deadline. The priority-based
EDF is a dynamic scheduling algorithm used in real-time application systems. The proposed priority-
based EDF scheduling algorithm is defined in Equation (1) and (2) are:

Packet Queue (Pq)=Priority (P) + Deadline (D)------------------------------------ (1)

Deadline (D)=Packet Arrival (Pt) + Max Latency (Mx)--------------------------- (2)

where Pq is a packet queued to serve.

We use simple case to illustrate the scheduling process of uni-priority of event-driven safety
messages. The node has three event-driven safety messages with high priority message need to be
transmit e.g. lane change warning, forward collision and pre-crash sensing. Each safety message has
own maximum latency as shown in table 1 below. The three of event-driven safety messages arrival at
different time. The lane change warning arrived at time 1, forward collision arrived at time 2 and pre-
crash sensing arrived at time 3. Based on EDF scheduling algorithm defined in Equation (1) and (2),
the packets queue is C A B (where the lower packet queue is a high priority to transmit).

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Congestion Control Framework for Disseminating Safety Messages in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs)
Mohamad Yusof Bin Darus, Kamarulnizam Abu Bakar
International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications. Volume 5, Number 2, February 2011

Table 1: Example of EDF Scheduling Process


Packet Application Max Latency Formula
Pq = 4 + ( 1+100)
A Lane Change Warning 100 msec
= 105
Pq = 4 + (2+100)
B Forward Collision 100 msec
= 106
Pq = 4 + ( 3+20)
C Pre-Crash Sensing 20 msec
= 27

4.3. Rebroadcasting Scheme

The most important criteria of safety application is to disseminate event-driven safety messages,
such as to warn drivers in case of dangerous events. Because of the shared wireless medium, blindly
broadcasting packets may lead to frequent contention and collisions in transmission among neighboring
nodes. This problem is sometimes referred to as the broadcast storm or blind flooding [15, 17]. This
flooding method causes a lot of redundancy so for overcoming the broadcast storm problem, several
the broadcast schemes to reduce redundant rebroadcast in VANETs were proposed [15, 17].
In this research, we aim to propose a new broadcast scheme in our congestion control to ensure
high reliability of event-driven safety messages. This broadcast scheme also will perform low over
head by means of reducing rebroadcast redundancy in a high-density network. Our proposed
rebroadcasting scheme consists of two phases: forward and makeup. The forward phase is responsible
to deliver event-driven safety messages to the adjacent node and also the farthest node (next hop) for
fast propagation. We consider the adjacent node must have high priority to receive safety messages
compare to other nodes. Our rebroadcasting scheme will extend coverage area. We also apply
additional makeup transmissions in makeup phases to ensure the PRR of the network. There are
multiple makeup phases, which are independent from each other: each makeup phase is triggered right
after the event-driven safety messages traverses another hop in forward phase, and terminates by itself.
Multiple makeup phases run in parallel, as long as the relay nodes don’t interfere with each other.
The relay node in rebroadcasting scheme is called as makeup/forwarder. During the dissemination
of event-driven safety messages, makeup/forwarder at each hop is elected. The makeup/forwarder is
responsible to deliver event-driven safety messages to nearest adjacent node and to the farthest node.
The design of both phases is optimized to minimize the total number of transmissions. The figure 5
illustrates proposed a rebroadcasting scheme process of event-driven safety messages. Our congestion
control approach will give high priority on the first hop and low priority on others hop.

Figure 5. The Rebroadcasting Scheme Process

5. Conclusion
In this research, we proposed a scalable congestion control focus on disseminating event-driven
safety messages in VANETs. In dense network, CCH communication channel easily congested by
periodic updates of beacon safety messages and broadcast storm from event-driven safety messages.
The congestion control approach is one of the best solutions to solve congestion wireless

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Congestion Control Framework for Disseminating Safety Messages in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs)
Mohamad Yusof Bin Darus, Kamarulnizam Abu Bakar
International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications. Volume 5, Number 2, February 2011

communication channel in VANETs. Our proposed framework of congestion control will scan the
messages queues and monitor channel communications based on defined threshold. We also proposed
to adapt priority-based EDF scheduling algorithm in our congestion control. The purpose of priority-
based EDF scheduling is to schedule packets with same high priority to access CCH communication
channel. To provide reliability performance for event-driven safety messages, we proposed to develop
a new rebroadcasting scheme. The congestion control supposes to be reducing the channel load in
order to meet the QoS requirements of the wireless network performance. In future research, we plan to
test and evaluate performance of our congestion control approach using network simulator e.g. NS-3.

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Congestion Control Framework for Disseminating Safety Messages in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs)
Mohamad Yusof Bin Darus, Kamarulnizam Abu Bakar
International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications. Volume 5, Number 2, February 2011

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