Date of Award

Fall 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Sciences - (Ph.D.)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Cristian Borcea

Second Advisor

Guiling Wang

Third Advisor

Vincent Oria

Fourth Advisor

Iulian Sandu Popa

Fifth Advisor

Wu Chou


Traffic congestion causes driver frustration and costs billions of dollars annually in lost time and fuel consumption. This dissertation introduces a cost-effective and easily deployable vehicular re-routing system that reduces the effects of traffic congestion. The system collects real-time traffic data from vehicles and road-side sensors, and computes proactive, individually tailored re-routing guidance, which is pushed to vehicles when signs of congestion are observed on their routes. Subsequently, this dissertation proposes and evaluates two classes of re-routing strategies designed to be incorporated into this system, namely, Single Shortest Path strategies and Multiple Shortest Paths Strategies.

These strategies are firstly implemented in a centralized system, where a server receives traffic updates from cars, computes alternative routes, and pushes them as guidance to drivers. The extensive experimental results show that the proposed strategies are capable of reducing the travel time comparable to a state-of-the-art Dynamic Traffic Assignment (DTA) algorithm, while avoiding the issues that make DTA impractical, such as lack of scalability and robustness, and high computation time. Furthermore, the variety of proposed strategies allows the system to be tuned to different levels of trade-off between re-routing effectiveness and computational efficiency. Also, the proposed traffic guidance system is robust even if many drivers ignore the guidance, or if the system adoption rate is relatively low.

The centralized system suffers from two intrinsic problems: the central server has to perform intensive computation and communication with the vehicles in real-time, which can make such solutions infeasible for large regions with many vehicles; and driver privacy is not protected since the drivers have to share their location as well as the origins and destinations of their trips with the server, which may prevent the adoption of such solutions. To address these problems, a hybrid vehicular re-routing system is presented in this dissertation. The system off-loads a large part of the re-routing computation at the vehicles, and thus, the re-routing process becomes practical in real-time. To make collaborative re-routing decisions, the vehicles exchange messages over vehicular ad hoc networks. The system is hybrid because it still uses a server to determine an accurate global view of the traffic. In addition, the user privacy is balanced with the re-routing effectiveness. The simulation results demonstrate that, compared with a centralized system, the proposed hybrid system increases the user privacy substantially, while the re-routing effectiveness is minimally impacted.