Stability Challenges and Enhancements for Vehicular Channel Congestion Control Approaches

Ali Rostami, Bin Cheng, Gaurav Bansal, Katrin Sjoberg, Marco Gruteser, John B. Kenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Channel congestion is one of the major challenges for IEEE 802.11p-based vehicular networks. Unless controlled, congestion increases with vehicle density, leading to high packet loss and degraded safety application performance. We study two classes of congestion control algorithms, i.e., reactive state-based and linear adaptive. In this paper, the reactive state-based approach is represented by the decentralized congestion control framework defined in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. The linear adaptive approach is represented by the LInear MEssage Rate Integrated Control (LIMERIC) algorithm. Both approaches control safety message transmissions as a function of channel load [i.e., channel busy percentage (CBP)]. A reactive state-based approach uses CBP directly, defining an appropriate transmission behavior for each CBP value, e.g., via a table lookup. By contrast, a linear adaptive approach identifies the transmission behavior that drives CBP toward a target channel load. Little is known about the relative performance of these approaches and any existing comparison is limited by incomplete implementations or stability anomalies. To address this, this paper makes three main contributions. First, we study and compare the two aforementioned approaches in terms of channel stability and show that the reactive state-based approach can be subject to major oscillation. Second, we identify the root causes and introduce stable reactive algorithms. Finally, we compare the performance of the stable reactive approach with the linear adaptive approach and the legacy IEEE 802.11p. It is shown that the linear adaptive approach still achieves a higher message throughput for any given vehicle density for the defined performance metrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7457688
Pages (from-to)2935-2948
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Congestion control
  • DSRC
  • ITS-G5
  • stability


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