Content-centric vehicular networks (CCVNs) have considered distributed proactive caching as an attractive approach for the timely provision of emerging services. The naïve caching schemes cache all of the contents to only one selected roadside unit (RSU) for requested vehicles to decrease the data acquisition delay between the data source and the vehicles. Due to the high deployment cost for RSUs and their limited capacity of caching, the vehicular networks could support only a limited number of vehicles and a limited amount of content and thus decrease the cache hit ratio. This paper proposes a mobility-aware distributed proactive caching protocol (MDPC) in CCVNs. MDPC caches contents to the selected RSUs according to the movement of vehicles. To reduce the redundancy and the burden of caching for each RSU, MDPC distributes to cache partial contents by the movement pattern, the probability to predict the next locations (RSUs) on the Markov model based on the current RSU. For recovery of prediction failures, MDPC allows each RSU to request partial missing contents to relatively closer neighbor RSUs with a short delay. Next, we expand the protocol with traffic optimization called MDPC_TO to minimize the amount of traffic for achieving proactive caching in CCVNs. In proportion to the mobility probability of a vehicle toward each of the next RSUs, MDPC_TO controls the amount of pre-cached contents in each of the next RSUs. Then, MDPC_TO has constraints to provide enough content from other next RSUs through backhaul links to remove the delay due to prediction failures. Simulation results verify that MDPC_TO produces less traffic than MDPC.
Keywords: content distribution; content-centric networking; mobility; pre-caching; roadside units (RSUs); vehicular networks.