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In recent years, routing protocols for Delay Tolerant Networks (DTN) have become appealing for vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANET), particularly for communication between vehicles in highly sparse environments. In such scenarios, network disconnections are frequent, and the establishment of stable source-destination links is scarce. This work addresses the performance of four DTN and two traditional VANET protocols when the vehicular density becomes high in a short-scale scenario. In this case, vehicles may need to communicate with near-located neighbors, and traffic conditions can rapidly change from low to high congested areas. Specifically, we evaluate how DTN and traditional VANET routing protocols deal with the transmission of warning messages that require message generation rates higher than usually found in the literature. The results show that the traditional VANET protocols outperform the DTN approaches considered in this work for transmitting warning messages in high vehicular-density scenarios. The results also shed light on features that DTN protocols should consider to improve the performance in such scenarios.
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