Promoting Cooperation in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

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Anthony Krzesinski


Mobile ad hoc networks, incentives for cooperation, credit-based incentives.


Consider a mobile ad hoc network (MANET) where the nodes belong to
different authorities. The nodes must be given incentives to spend their
resources (battery energy, transmission bandwidth, buffer space) in
forwarding packets that originate at nodes belonging to another
authority.  This can be done by assigning a credit balance to each node:
when a node acts as an originating node it uses its credits to pay for
the costs of sending its own traffic; when a node acts as a transit node
it earns credits by forwarding traffic from other nodes.  This paper
presents a credit-based incentive scheme which assists nodes that
persistently lack the credits necessary to transmit their data, and
protects nodes from using too large a proportion of their resources to
forward traffic that originated from other nodes.  We first present two
basic incentive schemes: the first scheme free-for-all does not regulate
the willingness of the nodes to forward packets on behalf of other
nodes; the second scheme tit-for-tat contains such a regulatory
mechanism.  Next we present the origin pays and the destination pays
protocol which contain a decentralised credit redistribution mechanism
to destroy (create) credit at over (under) provisioned nodes.  Both
constant and congestion-dependent resource prices are investigated.
Congestion pricing is also used to reward (penalise) the destination
node for receiving packets on under (over) utilised routes.  Initial
experiments indicate that the origin pays protocol with congestion
pricing offers a substantial improvement over the free-for-all protocol
that is currently used in MANETs.


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