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Vehicular Ad hoc Network (VANET) is a special subset of multi-hop Mobile Ad hoc Networks in which vehicles can not only communicate with each other but also with the fixed equipments along the roads through wireless interfaces. Recently, it has been discovered that essential systems in real world share similar properties. When they are regarded as networks, among which the dynamic topology structure of VANET system is an important issue. Many real world networks are actually growing with preferential attachment like Internet, transportation system and telephone network. Those phenomena have brought great possibility in finding a strategy to calibrate and control the topology parameters which can help find VANET topology change regulation to relieve traffic jam, prevent traffic accident and improve traffic safety. VANET is a typical complex network which has its basic characteristics. In this paper, we focus on the macroscopic Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) inter-vehicle communication network with complex network theory. In particular, this paper is the first one to propose a method analyzing the topological structure and performance of VANET and present the communications in VANET from a new perspective. Accordingly, we propose degree distribution, clustering coefficient and the short path length of complex network to implement our strategy by numerical example and simulation. All the results demonstrate that VANET shows small world network features and is characterized by a truncated scale-free degree distribution with power-law degree distribution. The average path length of the network is simulated numerically, which indicates that the network shows small-world property and is rarely affected by the randomness. What’s more, we carry out extensive simulations of information propagation and mathematically prove the power law property when > 2. The results of this study provide useful information for VANET optimization from a macroscopic perspective.


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