Approximate reinforcement learning to control beaconing congestion in distributed networks


Abstract In vehicular communications, the increase of the channel load caused by excessive periodical messages (beacons) is an important aspect which must be controlled to ensure the appropriate operation of safety applications and driver-assistance systems. To date, the majority of congestion control solutions involve including additional information in the payload of the messages transmitted, which may jeopardize the appropriate operation of these control solutions when channel conditions are unfavorable, provoking packet losses. This study exploits the advantages of non-cooperative, distributed beaconing allocation, in which vehicles operate independently without requiring any costly road infrastructure. In particular, we formulate the beaconing rate control problem as a Markov Decision Process and solve it using approximate reinforcement learning to carry out optimal actions. Results obtained were compared with other traditional solutions, revealing that our approach, called SSFA, is able to keep a certain fraction of the channel capacity available, which guarantees the delivery of emergency-related notifications with faster convergence than other proposals. Moreover, good performance was obtained in terms of packet delivery and collision ratios.

Sci Rep, Vol. 12, No. 1, PP. 142, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-04123-9