From channel selection to strategy selection: Enhancing VANETs using socially-inspired foraging and deference strategies

Mohammad Abu Shattal, Anna Wisniewska, Bilal Khan, Ala Al-Fuqaha, Kirk Dombrowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Dynamic spectrum access (DSA) has been hailed as a possible panacea for the 'spectrum crunch,' drawing significant attention from researchers and industry alike. Here, we describe a novel system architecture for vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs) that relies on the DSA framework. In our system, nodes continuously and independently choose one of three strategies for channel selection. Two of these strategies are biosocially inspired, based on resource sharing behaviors known to have been prevalent in human societies over the course of their natural evolution. We view the strategy selection problem as an evolutionary game, proving that the only evolutionarily stable strategy is one in which all nodes utilize the same strategy that depends on the social characteristics of the nodes and the current channel conditions. Within our system, a specialized road side unit (RSU) continuously computes the game-theoretically optimal evolutionarily stable strategy and broadcasts this recommendation to all VANET nodes. Through ns-3 simulation experiments across a range of social characteristics and channel condition scenarios, we demonstrate that a significant and robust improvement in utility (from 3% to 136%) is achieved when a large fraction of VANET nodes adopt the RSU's recommendation. The approach represents a bold departure from previous research which sought to track and micromanage channel resources from a short-term perspective, to one that provides VANET nodes with long-term recommendations for channel access strategy, both optimized for throughput and robust against attempts at circumvention by deviant users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8403998
Pages (from-to)8919-8933
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Bio-social networking
  • cognitive radio
  • dynamic spectrum access
  • evolutionary game theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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