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Sharing Data Links in Networks of Cars


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Network of cars

Credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Georgetown University, and National University of Singapore recently presented an algorithm that enables Wi-Fi-connected cars to share their Internet connections.

The algorithm's approach is to aggregate data from hundreds of cars in a small amount and then upload it to the Internet. However, the difficultly lies in the fact that the layout of a network of cars is constantly changing in unpredictable ways.

In general, cars that come into contact with the most other cars would aggregate the data. Using realistic assumptions, the researchers determined that for every 1,000 cars, five cars would aggregate and upload the data, says MIT graduate student Alejandro Cornejo. The researchers were able to show that the algorithm would still function well even if there were sparse connections between cars. However, their analysis also demonstrates that aggregation is not possible if the network of cars has slightly more linkages between them.

“There’s this paradox of connectivity where if you have these isolated clusters, which are well-connected, then we can guarantee that there will be aggregation in the clusters,” Cornejo says. “But if the clusters are well connected, but they’re not isolated, then we can show that it’s impossible to aggregate."

From MIT News 
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