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The Dutch auction (the price progressively falls until a buyer "takes" the object) is proposed as a foundation for decentralised medium-access control. Common auction formats are well-understood, relatively simple mechanism which have long been used for allocating an indivisible good to the party that values it the most, for such reasons as speed of allocation, discovery of the true "value" of the object, and fraud prevention. Various auction schemes have been proposed for the allocation of telecommunication resources, including medium access control (MAC). But previously proposals require a controller, and, to receive the bids, an alternate protocol which could waste resources, or miss important bids. For MAC, the Dutch auction has several major virtues: (i) a bid-processing protocol that automatically and simply priorities the highest bid(s); (ii) possibility of distributive (auctioneer-free) implementation for synchronised terminals; (iii) confirmation of transmitter-receiver pairs at auction time, with smooth continuation if the pair is infeasible; (iv) exceptional signalling economy (the only strictly necessary signal is the winning bid). Secure software inside each terminal may record transactions for eventual payment collection, or the auction can be used as a prioritised-access algorithm, without real money exchange. Below we evaluate qualitatively the MAC potential of this auction, emphasising the distributed version, which can control access with spatial reuse in a wireless adhoc environment.
Date of Conference: 15-15 Nov. 2007