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An underlying assumption of multi-hop data communication in ad hoc networks is that the nodes forward each others' packets. An important challenge in such scenario is to attain mutual cooperation. This paper provides a game theoretic solution to enforce cooperation in ad hoc network in the presence of channel noise. We focus on the packet forwarding process and model it as a hidden action game with imperfect private monitoring. We propose a state machine based strategy to reach Nash Equilibrium. The equilibrium is proved to be a sequential equilibrium with carefully designed system parameters. Furthermore, we extend our discussion to a general ad hoc network scenario by refining the strategy profiles to handle multi-hop packet forwarding. The simulation results illustrate the efficiency of the proposed forwarding strategies. In addition, network throughput performance is measured with respect to parameters like channel loss probability, route hop count and mobility. Results suggest that the performance due to our proposed strategy is in close agreement with that of unconditionally cooperative nodes.
Date of Conference: 22-26 June 2009