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The performance of vehicular data networks (VDNs) is highly dependent on vehicular traffic. Existing studies on VDNs consider custom-developed traffic models that mimic real-life vehicular traffic behavior and prepare the ground for accurate VDN performance evaluation. Traffic evolution is affected by numerous random events. Some developed models are microscopic. They independently consider some possible factors (e.g., weather, road geometry, and drivers' skills). These microscopic models are complex, and their implementations may be costly. Other models are macroscopic. They revolve around only the following three major traffic parameters: 1) density; 2) flow; and 3) speed. The majority of such existing models are unrealistic, because they are based on restrictive assumptions tailored to their enclosing study. Comparing the performance of VDN protocols becomes adequate if and only if these protocols are all developed on top of the same traffic model. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Hence, the design of a generic traffic model that serves as a basis for future studies on VDNs is equally urgent and important. This paper presents a comprehensive and traffic-theory-inspired macroscopic description of vehicular traffic behavior over roadway facilities that operate under free-flow traffic conditions. Accordingly, a simple and tractable macroscopic traffic model is proposed. Extensive simulations are conducted to verify the validity of the proposed model and its high accuracy.
Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:13 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2012