Vehicular ad hoc
networks (VANETs) have an important role in urban management and planning. The effective integration of vehicle information in VANETs is critical to traffic analysis, large-scale vehicle route planning and intelligent transportation scheduling. However, given the limitations in the precision of the output information of a single sensor and the difficulty of information sharing among various sensors in a highly dynamic VANET, effectively performing data aggregation in VANETs remains a challenge. Moreover, current studies have mainly focused on data aggregation in large-scale environments but have rarely discussed the issue of intra-cluster data aggregation in VANETs. In this study, we propose a multi-player game theory algorithm for intra-cluster data aggregation in VANETs by analyzing the competitive and cooperative relationships among sensor nodes. Several sensor-centric metrics are proposed to measure the data redundancy and stability of a cluster. We then study the utility function to achieve efficient intra-cluster data aggregation by considering both data redundancy and cluster stability. In particular, we prove the existence of a unique Nash equilibrium in the game model, and conduct extensive experiments to validate the proposed algorithm. Results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm has advantages over typical data aggregation algorithms in both accuracy and efficiency.
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