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In mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), a source node must rely on other nodes to forward its packets on multi-hop routes to the destination. Therefore,the cooperation of nodes is very important. With lack of a prior trust relationship, misbehavior caused by selfishness or malice may severely degrade the performance of the network. The cooperative security schemes offer a reasonable effective solution to resolve the uncooperative behavior which launched by the malicious and selfish nodes in mobile ad hoc networks. This paper analyses the typical cooperation schemes, and then presents that an optimal local reputation system (OLRS),which can be used in mobile ad hoc networks. In this approach,the reputation of node combines of subjective reputation and indirect reputation.The reputation was only exchanged in k-hop neighborhood, which not only can reduce the cost of system but also can fully learn the experiences from its neighbors. The simulation results show that our approach can effectively stimulate nodes to cooperate and enhance the performance of mobile ad hoc networks.