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The authors propose using real world mobility traces to identify tractable theoretical models for the study of distributed algorithms in mobile networks. Specifically, they derive a vehicular ad hoc network model from a large corpus of position data generated by San Francisco-area taxicabs. Unlike previous work, their model does not assume global connectivity or eventual stability. Instead, they assume only that some subset of processes might be connected through transient paths (e.g., paths that exist over time). They use this model to study the problem of prioritized gossip, in which processes attempt to disseminate messages of different priority.
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