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Inter-Contact Times (ICTs) between moving vehicles are one of the key metrics in vehicular networks, and they are also central to forwarding algorithms and the end-to-end delay. Recent study on the tail distribution of ICTs based on theoretical mobility models and empirical trace data shows that the delay between two consecutive contact opportunities drops exponentially. While theoretical results facilitate problem analysis, how to design practical opportunistic forwarding protocols in vehicular networks, where messages are delivered in carry-and-forward fashion, is still unclear. In this paper, the authors study three large sets of Global Positioning System (GPS) traces of more than ten thousand public vehicles, collected from Shanghai and Shenzhen, two metropolises in China.
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