The future of Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANET) will rely mainly on the support of efficient information dissemination protocols, whether we talk about safety applications that warn the driver of an imminent collision, a simple update on traffic conditions, or road-side advertisements. One of the greatest challenges when designing such protocols is how to deliver packets efficiently in a highly mobile environments under intermittent connectivity. Surprisingly, this problem has been under-investigated in the literature.
In this paper, we propose, design, and evaluate SERVUS1, a robust dissemination protocol that guarantees packet propagation with high delivery ratio and low overhead. SERVUS includes a new broadcast management mechanism that takes advantage of the inherent behavioral properties of the VANET environment. In particular, the proposed protocol can update isolated nodes (or clusters) with missing information while ensuring homogeneous information dispersal at low overhead. Through a number of analyses, we show that SERVUS is highly efficient with regard to the tradeoff between reliability and cost, and overcomes important issues like the broadcast storm problem and the topological temporal fragility.