This paper presents the first study on scheduling for cooperative data dissemination in a hybrid infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication environment. We formulate the novel problem of cooperative data scheduling (CDS). Each vehicle informs the road-side unit (RSU) the list of its current neighboring vehicles and the identifiers of the retrieved and newly requested data. The RSU then selects sender and receiver vehicles and corresponding data for V2V communication, while it simultaneously broadcasts a data item to vehicles that are instructed to tune into the I2V channel.
The goal is to maximize the number of vehicles that retrieve their requested data. We prove that CDS is NP-hard by constructing a polynomial-time reduction from the Maximum Weighted Independent Set (MWIS) problem. Scheduling decisions are made by transforming CDS to MWIS and using a greedy method to approximately solve MWIS. We build a simulation model based on realistic traffic and communication characteristics and demonstrate the superiority and scalability of the proposed solution. The proposed model and solution, which are based on the centralized scheduler at the RSU, represent the first known vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) implementation of software defined network (SDN) concept.