Equilibrium Analysis of Packet Forwarding Strategies in Wireless Ad Hoc Networks - the Static Case (extended version)

In multi-hop wireless networks, every node is expected to forward packets for the benefit of other nodes. Yet, if each node is its own authority, then it may selfishly deny packet forwarding in order to save its own resources. Some researchers have proposed to introduce an incentive mechanism in the network that motivates the nodes to cooperate. In this paper, we address the question of whether such an incentive mechanism is necessary or cooperation between the nodes exists in the absence of it. We define a model in a game theoretic framework and identify the conditions under which cooperative strategies can form an equilibrium. As theproblem is somewhat involved, we deliberately restrict ourselves to a static configuration.

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