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Mobile ad hoc networking has been an active research area for several years. How to stimulate cooperation among selfish mobile nodes, however, is not well addressed yet. In this paper, we propose Sprite, a simple, cheat-proof, credit-based system for stimulating cooperation among selfish nodes in mobile ad hoc networks. Our system provides incentive for mobile nodes to cooperate and report actions honestly. Compared with previous approaches, our system does not require any tamper-proof hardware at any node. Furthermore, we present a formal model of our system and prove its properties. Evaluations of a prototype implementation show that the overhead of our system is small. Simulations and analysis show that mobile nodes can cooperate and forward each other's messages, unless the resource of each node is extremely low.