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Pricing for enabling forwarding in self-configuring ad hoc networks

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3 Author(s)
O. Ileri ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ, USA ; Siun-Chuon Mau ; N. B. Mandayam

The assumption that all nodes cooperate to relay packets for each other may not be realistic for commercial wireless ad hoc networks. An autonomous (selfish) node in a wireless network has two disincentives for forwarding for others: energy expenditure (real cost) and possible delays for its own data (opportunity cost). We introduce a mechanism that "fosters cooperation through bribery" in the context of forwarding in ad hoc networks. Using a microeconomic framework based on game theory, we design and analyze a pricing algorithm that encourages forwarding among autonomous nodes by reimbursing forwarding. Taking a joint network-centric and user-centric approach, the revenue maximizing network and utility (measured in bits-per-Joule) maximizing nodes interact through prices for channel use, reimbursements for forwarding, transmitter power control, as well as forwarding and destination preferences. In a three-node (two-sources, one-access-point) network, the network converges to an architecture that induces forwarding only when the network geometries are such that forwarding is likely to increase individual benefits (network revenue and node utilities). For other geometries, the network converges to architectures that do not favor forwarding. We then generalize to a multinode network, where it is seen that the nodes' willingness to forward decrease for large ratios of the average internodal distance to the smallest distance between the access point and any source node. Pricing with reimbursement generally improves the network aggregate utility (or aggregate bits-per-Joule), as well as utilities and revenue compared with the corresponding pricing algorithm without reimbursement.

Published in:

IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 1 )